The Israeli ambassador Noah Gal Gendler was yesterday forced to emerge and disown a report exclusively carried by Kenya Live News over visa denial to Deputy President William Ruto.
Later in the day, a statement was dispatched to mainstream Kenyan media from Ambassador Gendler who insisted the DP and his wife Rachel, being diplomatic passports holders, do not require visas to travel to Israel.
The statement which was not shared by Kenyan Live News which originally carried the story, went on to praise the warm friendship of Kenya and Israel which had supposedly “enabled both the governments to exempt visas for diplomatic passport holders and therefore H E Deputy President Ruto and his wife do not require visas to travel to Israel,” Gendler said.
— The Star, Kenya (@TheStarKenya) November 28, 2018
According to sources close to the embassy, DP Ruto ran into visa challenges after being linked to corruption at the National Irrigation Board which is overseeing the implementation of the massive Galana Kulalu irrigation project.
The project has since come into headwinds after the Israeli government withdrew funding and technical support due to concerns of corruption at NIB.
However, in his statement to media Ambassador Gendler said that the Israel diplomatic mission in Kenya felt aggrieved by the false story which he claimed was “baseless and without a doubt irresponsible for any news channel, even one that wants to remain relevant.”
The fact that the Ambassador failed to address the more significant gist of the article, which was corruption at NIB, suggests that there is more than meets the eye in their suspended involvement in the Galana Kulalu irrigation project due to graft at the National Irrigation Board.
Kenya Live News, however, which stands by its story has so far not received any evidentiary complaint to suggest that it’s story was false or inaccurate.
A diaspora based editor with Kenya Live News insisted: “As free press, we endeavour to maintain high media professional standards while at the same time publishing stories of public interest without fear of favour”.
The editor added, contrary to accusations by Ambassador Gendler, Kenya Live News maintains the highest professional media standards and has several checks that ensure it does not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information. “We also give those covered in our site, the right of reply.”