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US Embassy releases list of Kenyan funeral homes for Citizens’ ‘convenience’




Death is a difficult experience for one’s family and friends no matter where it takes place. When death occurs overseas the experience can be even harder, especially if the procedures involved are not clearly understood.

American Citizen Services (ACS) is ready to assist family and friends in the event of the death of an American Citizen in Kenya.  Our services include:

  • Finding and notifying the Next-of-Kin of the deceased
  • Acting as a liaison with Kenyan police, hospital and mortuary authorities
  • Arranging for the disposition and repatriation of remains
  • Coordinating administrative and financial requirements
  • Assisting in the collection and return of personal effects to Next-of-Kin
  • Issuing a “Report of Death of American Citizen Abroad”.

 Notification of Next-of-Kin

Once we receive the death notification, we then find the Next-of-Kin of the deceased and contact that person as soon as possible. There are several important things that the Next-of-Kin must do in conjunction with the ACS office. These include:

  • Complete and return to us the questionnaire by emailing us a scanned copy.  This questionnaire tells us exactly how to handle the deceased’s body.
  • Returning a signed and notarized “Affidavit of Next-of-Kin”.
  • Choosing method of disposition of remains
  • Arranging payment of mortuary and related expenses in Kenya
  • Arranging return of any personal possessions of the deceased

Affidavit of Next-of-Kin and Letter of Instruction

To act on the family’s behalf, the Embassy must have a signed, notarized copy of a document called an “Affidavit of Next-of-Kin.”  This form is critical because it shows us who is entitled to make the decisions regarding the deceased. Families should first fax or scan and email us a completed copy, and then mail the original.

Next-of-Kin are established in the following order:

  1. Spouse
  2. Children
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Grandparents

Disposition and Repatriation of Remains 

When an American Citizen dies in Kenya, the body is usually preserved until an autopsy can be performed and instructions are received from us or the Next-of-Kin regarding disposition of remains.  There are normally two options regarding the disposition of remains:

  • Embalming is permitted in Kenya.  This should only take place as soon after death as possible, but may not take place until the doctor has signed the Registration of death certificate.
  • Cremation is permitted in Kenya.  The family or their agent must instruct the mortician who arranges for legally required documentation.

We work with a funeral home here in Nairobi to ensure that the wishes of the Next-of-Kin are carried out as quickly and professionally as possible. For reference, we have a list of funeral homes in Kenya (PDF 75KB)

Return of Personal Effects

The Embassy can, in most circumstances, take charge of personal effects and possessions of the deceased if instructed to do so by the Next-of-Kin. This may not be necessary if the deceased has a friend or family member present in Kenya at the time of death.

We will conduct a thorough inventory of any personal effects and send a copy to the Next-of Kin. We can send the family any items they wish to have returned at their expense through the United States Postal Service at the Embassy. Most families decide to donate items of little sentimental or monetary value (clothing, suitcases, kitchenware, etc.) to a local charity in order to avoid the large expense involved in returning these items to the United States. The Embassy will gladly arrange for this charitable donation on the family’s behalf.

In cases where the estate of the deceased exceeds $1000, the Embassy will require more detailed legal documents, such as Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, prior to releasing money or effects to the Next-of-Kin.

Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad

The “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” is an official report, in English, that provides the essential facts concerning the death of a U.S. Citizen. It functions in much the same way as a death certificate issued in the United States and can be used to settle bank accounts, insurance policies and other estate matters.

This report can be issued only after the Kenyan authorities complete their documentation of the death and takes several weeks to be completed.  A minimum of 20 certified copies will be sent to the Next-of-Kin. Families may order additional certified copies from the Department of State for a fee.

Families will thus receive up to three sets of documents from the Embassy:

  • 20 copies of “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” (free)
  • A certified copy of the Kenyan Death Certificate
  • An original Autopsy Report (at the family’s expense)

For more information you may also refer to the Department of State website.

For more information on the Consular Report of the Death of an American Abroad, and other services that a consular officer can help you with when a loved one passes away overseas, see the links below.

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VIDEO: For Kimani Wanguhu, 22 years in US have borne fruits as he owns 2 successful business in two worlds




Meet Wilson Kimani Wanguhu. He has lived in the US for 22 years where, besides getting an education, he has also learnt the ropes. Just like many who have relocated from Kenya to US, it was not easy at the beginning. When he landed in the US in 1996, he struggled to pay his fees and sustain himself. “I used to flip burgers and later sold petrol at a gas station,” he says.

But now those are distant memories. His entrepreneurial streak has seen him venture into business and he now sells insurance in the Atlanta, Georgia and water in Nakuru, Kenya.

Wanguhu has put up systems that enable him to run businesses in both cities effectively and his story is an example of the impact of remittances from Abroad. He  says having lived in a country where systems function like clock work, setting up shop in Kenya has had its fair share of challenges.

The former CEO of Kim Media Group and publisher of Kenya Empowerment Newspaper is however upbeat and quite happy with what the has achieved so far. He co-owns Ameritrust Insurance Group and has teamed up with his mom and his younger brother, Ezekiel Manyara, as the co-proprietors of Riftdrops Limited, a water bottling Company with its headquarters in Nakuru.

“If you are doing well in Kenya, stay there…,” he advises would-be migrants. He spoke to Alex Chamwada in this week’s episode of  Daring Abroad. Here is his story.

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Larry Madowo threatens to delete his twitter account over trolling




Embattled Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo says he is ready to quit Twitter if the San Francisco headquartered company does not respond to his complaints.

In an opinion piece in the influential American Newspaper Washington Post, Madowo says  Twitter is hopelessly broken and often tone-deaf.

“I have over 1 million twitter followers and I am ready to quit,” writes Madowo.

Though one of the most popular media personalities in Kenya with a huge following, Madowo equally has a fair share of “haters” who troll him on social media. A case in point is a photo he posted while in the Emergency Room (ER) after a bicycle accident on Friday with the caption:

“Check out my hot new arm accessory after a trip to the ER for a bad fall while cycling. I’ll be rocking this baby everywhere.”

Larry Madowo in hospital. PHOTO/COURTESY

This did not seem to go well with his critics who, in their thousands, made very derogatory comments.

Rozah Njiruh wrote: “In hospital bed and enjoying as if in a 5 Star hotel? Only that you have money to waste. An ordinary Kenya will break his arm and go for kibarua. In the mean time, NASA died yesterday.”

Wagacunga wrote the following in KSN’s comments section : “Isnt it strange how people in the public eye use the media when it suits them. Like posting a picture of oneself on a hospital bed smiling like the cat that got the cream. When people criticise their action, they cry foul. Why should you not be trolled? Kenya is a country where people cant afford (majority) to go to your kind of hospitals. That picture is sure to irk many. Close your account by all means. Twitter wont die because you aint there.”

A clearly liid Madowo has told off Twitter for ignoring those in the rest of the world. “If you think Twitter is a mess in America, it is even worse for the rest of the world.

Says he: “My experience on the platform has been the most degrading experience of my career. I am constantly considering deleting my account for good. If nothing changes soon, I will have no choice but to deactivate it and walk away from the vile, toxic mess it is for heavy users with strong opinions like me.

Hate and abuse are now synonymous with tweeting, but Twitter’s indifference (or inability) to deal with it has been particularly damaging. I’ve reported multiple accounts that directly threatened me or whose abuse crossed a line — yet there is almost always no response from Twitter — especially if the offending tweets are in local languages. In the most egregious instances, offenders just registered new accounts to continue their hateful campaigns after I blocked them.”

Trolling has been taking a toll on Kenyan celebrities in the recent past as “hate speech” continues to spread on social media like bush fire.

Madowo recently discontinued his engagement as a Daily Nation columnist after his seniors refused to publish last week’s #FrontRow article, which was critical of the government’s decision to shut down four television stations and how media managers handled the situation.

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Tillerson taken ill in Nairobi, cancels day’s events



US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is on his first-ever Africa tour as Washington’s top diplomat, on Saturday cancelled his programme in Kenya because he was feeling unwell, officials said.

“The secretary is not feeling well after a long couple days working on major issues back home such as North Korea and has cancelled his events for the day,” said a brief statement from Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein.

The audacious diplomatic gambit, which was taken before consulting key confidantes including Tillerson – who was in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa at the time – left aides scrambling to catch up.

Just hours before the summit announcement, which emerged late on Thursday, Tillerson had said Washington was “a long way” from talking directly to North Korea as he kicked off his five-nation Africa tour.

The US diplomat, who arrived in Nairobi on Friday, had been due to visit the AIDS-relief programme PEPFAR on Saturday and also attend a ceremony marking 20 years since Al-Qaeda bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people.

Plans to lay a wreath at the site could be rescheduled, Goldstein said.

Tillerson is due to travel to Chad on Monday then on to Nigeria a day later.

-Capital FM

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