I would like to refer to the article titled " 'KKK Plot' Dupes Kenya, U.S. Says; 7 American Missionaries Expelled in Purported Coup Scheme," which appeared in The Post on Nov. 18.
The seven American missionaries who were expelled from Kenya were in the country illegally, and I wish to stress that this is an isolated incident which has nothing to do with overall U.S.-Kenya relations. The relations between our two countries continue to be as friendly as they have been in the past.
Regarding the press coverage of the incident by certain Kenyan newspapers, I wish to point out that the Kenya government did not order any of them to give the incident banner-headline coverage as The Post alleges. Our government does not control newspapers, and it is therefore needless for me to stress the fact that the newspapers and foreign journalists enjoy unrivaled press freedom in Kenya.
I would also like to point out that the statements that certain Kenyan leaders may have made regarding the incident will not necessarily lead to undue harassment of American citizens living and working in Kenya because: (a) Kenyans are law-abiding people, and therefore no Kenyan will take law into his own hands; and (b) the Kenya government is in full control of the security situation throughout the country.
As far as the activities of American missionaries in Kenya are concerned, the Kenya government is indeed appreciative of their work and has no intention to expel those missionaries who are in the country legally and are doing their normal church work. I would therefore like to allay the fears of the public that American citizens might be harassed or injured -- they will be safe.
There is of course an established diplomatic machinery which both sides can use to sort out incidents such as this one. We are therefore dismayed to read in The Post that for a whole period of two weeks the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi was aware of the problems facing certain American missionaries in Kenya, and yet it did not care to bring this matter to the attention of the Kenyan authorities.
In the meantime, the Kenya government is carrying out further investigation of the matter, and we hope that the U.S. government will cooperate with ours on this unfortunate incident. Incidentally, the Kiswahili word "wananchi" means "citizens," not "common people" as The Post has interpreted it. ABUKI BWONGERI Second Secretary (Press) Embassy of the Republic of Kenya Washington