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Heartbreak as Obama says no to K’Ogelo visit

The US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has said that President Barack Obama will not visit K’Ogelo, Siaya County even though the itinerary for the visit is still “being worked on.”

Mr Godec said due to the limited time for President Obama’s trip, his visit to Kogelo where the US president’s father- Barack Obama Senior- was born and raised, will be impossible.

He spoke on Thursday evening on KTN’s Jeff Koinange Live.

“Unfortunately, he has very limited time in Kenya and that will make it difficult to make the trip,” he said.

Incidentally, Siaya County government plans to spend Sh52 million to welcome the US President through a series of sports activities like marathons, culture and tourism expo as well as a party the “Grand Air Force One welcome party” to be hosted in the county.

Mr Godec said the Embassy has received many request and invitations for Mr Obama who becomes the first ever sitting US President to visit the country.

Mr Obama is expected in the country on Friday for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit set for June 24 to 26 in Nairobi.

He said: “President Obama’s visit to Kenya is historical. The Summit is also historical because it creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs to engage with experienced business people.”

He confirmed that the US president will hold bilateral talks with his host, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ambassador Godec noted that the travel alerts issued in the wake of his visit were expected “with every major events as there are always risks.”

Adding: “We did not warn Americans not to come to Kenya. We just issued a security warning which is the procedure all over the world.”

He however clarified though security will be tight during Obama’s visit, arrangements are being made to minimize the impact and disruptions the visit may cause.