Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has denied having played a role in the issuance of work permits to Pakistani belly dancers.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, the CS maintained that he was not involved in human trafficking as reports on social media platforms were alleging.

CS Echesa further stated that his ministry offered support to the eight Pakistani nationals when they applied for special passes to participate in a festival.

Supporting cultural integration

The only role played by the Sports ministry was to support the Pakistani nationals’ application for special passes to participate in an Indian cultural festival via the issuance of a ‘Letter of No Objection’ to the Director of Immigration as part of the ministry’s mandate in promoting cultural integration,” Echesa said.

Sports and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa

In the statement, CS Echesa said that the long bilateral agreement on cultural exchange between Kenya and Pakistani for exchange in art, music and culture informed his decision to give dancers the special passes.

It is then incumbent upon the department of immigration to consider any such application on their own merit after conducting due diligence and if they meet legal requirements as prescribed by law," the Sports CS stated.

Tainting the Ministry

The CS called out a local publication for an article which he said portrayed his office and himself as having engaged in human trafficking which is illegal.

The article further portrays me as usurping the power of the Director of Immigration contrary to the law" the Sports CS stated.

Some of the Pakistani girls arrested and later deported

"Such portrayal has the potential of diminishing my good standing in society and is greatly injurious to my character and reputation,” Echesa added.

On new years eve, the eight Pakistani nationals were arrested by law enforcement officers in what was alleged to have been a human trafficking ring bust by the DCI.