VIDEO: Amb Githae denies corruption allegations in ID, Passport issuance exercise - Kenya Satellite News Network
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VIDEO: Amb Githae denies corruption allegations in ID, Passport issuance exercise

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Kenya’s ambassador to the US, Robinson Njeru Githae, has denied claims that his office is involved in corrupt practices in regard to the ongoing inter-state ID issuance drive.

Speaking to Kenya Satellite News Network Saturday, the envoy rubbished reports that the embassy was colluding with some unscrupulous Kenyans to fleece their compatriots “by charging exorbitant fees for a consular service which should cost much less.”

Githae was responding to a post which was widely circulated on social media platforms over the weekend, and trended all day on Saturday, alleging that he was abetting graft.

Under the heading; “Exporting Corruption Abroad,” the anonymous post alleges that through his handlers, Githae was charging $150 (about Ksh 15,000) instead of the official fee of  $45 (about Ksh 4,500) for the issuance of the all important document.

The writer claims that Kenyans living in Kansas City are required to raise at least Ksh 1.6M for the embassy staff to travel to the city for the drive slated for Oct 6th and 7th this year, while at the same time insinuating that a similar exercise carried out in Atlanta recently was mired in corruption.

The post generated heated debates on several social media platforms Saturday.




Mr David Ochwangi, the co-founder and President Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organizations, Inc. is one of the disillusioned Kenyans and says there is well orchestrated scheme to fleece Kenyans.

The post that was trending on Saturday. PHOTO/SCREEN GRAB

But the envoy says there is nothing sinister about the amount of money charged, adding that the embassy would  continue partnering with other entities to take services closer to Kenyans in various US cities.

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“The Embassy does not have sufficient or adequate funds to send its staff out foe these registration exercises to all the major towns and cities in USA. There is no country with unlimited resources including USA and Kenya was no exception,” he told this reporter.

“USA is a vast country which is almost like a whole continent and it costs about $700-800 per person (sic) to come to DC to register for an ID and this huge cost has been a discouragement to the diaspora. In addition there is a large number of diaspora who cannot travel to DC or even anywhere else as they lack travel papers. It is our duty and responsibility to assist and help this group of Kenyan diaspora,” he added.





And speaking in Atlanta during the annual Kenyan Professors and Scholars Association  (KESSA) conference on Saturday, Githae said he would continue supporting the Kenyan Parents in USA  organization which partnered  and collaborated with the Embassy for the recently concluded registration drive.

“It was a win- win situation for all because the Parents would save about $ 700- 750 dollars which they would have otherwise spent to travel to DC for ID registration while those without travel papers need not travel outside their city or town while the Embassy would fulfill its mandate even under inadequate or insufficient budget circumstances,” said the envoy.

“An ID registration exercise outside DC costs about $ 10,000 as the Embassy has to cater for about 7-8 officers for 4 days with air tickets, accommodation, food, local transport, registration materials, out of pocket expenses and other allowances,” he added.

He said even as the Embassy awaits for the National Treasury to provide adequate or sufficient funds for diaspora ID registration exercise, the exercise will continue.

“If the diaspora cannot afford, for whatever reason, to come to Washington DC to register for the documents, the Embassy will go to where the Kenyan diaspora lives,” he states in a post on the Embassy website.

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He requested those cities and towns that were ready for this exercise to get in touch with the Embassy as the alternative was for the diaspora to travel to DC for ID registration which is done on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm.

“ I want to be known as the envoy who made KQ direct flights between USA and Kenya a reality and also registered the Kenyan diaspora with national IDs,”  he adds.

Elsewhere, the President of Kenyan Parents in USA Association, Isaac Kinungi, has said he will continue collaborating with the embassy to “help our people.”

“We will continue charging for the services as we are not forcing anybody. One has a choice to book a flight to DC with 75 dollars that we are charging (if that aircraft is in the market),’ he said in a statement.

“On explaining how we can account for money collected as a non profit organization, I would like to say that we are not under any obligation to explain to the mumbo jumbo jargon which is being circulated,” he added.

Atlanta-based Timothy Ndegwa, the CEO of MyKenyanlink – an online goods and services promotional firm – says the Atlanta event was a great success. “So many Kenyans now have national IDs thanks to the event… People came from as far as North Carolina. The need is there.”

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He however says the government should find ways of catering for the embassy personnel. “I think the government should put funds aside to take care of the embassy staff when they travel to offer such services,” he says.

Muthoni Eva of Missouri opines that the embassy should fund the exercises fully. In an Instagram post she says:  “Those of us carrying out transactions in Kenya know that we pay inflated taxes and the embassy should not promote double jeopardy. “We used to only pay the official fee during Ogego and Odembo’s time. What really has changed? Give us a break.”

Maggie Marikah Kwabena wrote on Facebook: If it costs $45 dollars and he is charging $150 did he explain the extra charges? It is not Rocket Science. It is simple math.

“We know how much a Ticket from DC to Kansas or Texas costs. We also know how much hotels cost. These people have a salary and the Embassy has a budget. They are in the US to serve Kenyans. That is their Job. Acheni za ovyo! ” she added.




“Enemies of development who are always so negative in their myopic view,” wrote Dorcas Omwenga on Twitter. “First of all, why is the writer of the said Kansas Tribune article anonymous? These are the same people who recently spread rumors that the ambassador had died in a road accident in Florida. The devil is real.”

 

 

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PHOTOS: Why Raila’s meeting with Waiguru has some Kenyans saying “I salenda’

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Upon learning that Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru  had met Baba (Read Raila Odinga) and she had withdrawn her defamation case against the former Prime Minister as the latter on his part declared that the NYS Scandal is a ‘bygone’ matter, Twitter went up in flames, with most Kenyans expressing their disbelief.

Waiguru disclosed the burying of the hatchet  in a tweet after meeting with the AU High Representative for Infrastructure at the latter’s Capitol Hill office on Wednesday.

The row between Raila and Waiguru arose in 2015 after the ODM leader demanded the governor’s prosecution for graft at NYS.

The issue culminated into the county boss suing Raila for linking her to the loss of Sh791 million at the youth agency.

Waiguru, then Devolution CS, sued Raila on September 29, 2015, accusing him of recklessly tarnishing her name.

The ODM leader, on the other hand, sought the court’s say on his call for Waiguru to be subjected to a lifestyle audit.

But after their meeting, the Kirinyaga county boss said the matter stands settled ‘in the spirit of cohesion’.

“Just had a meeting with Raila on the outstanding matter in court. In the spirit of cohesion and reconciliation in the country, the matter stands settled,” she said.

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Raila, on his part, said: “Held a meeting with Waiguru and agreed to “let by-gones be by-gones” and leave the matter of the NYS scandal in the hands of investigators.”

He added: “She said her case against me is now settled in the spirit of reconciliation that the nation has embarked on. We also reviewed the status of devolution in the country and agreed to exchange views frequently on how to address the challenges.”

Early in the year, Waiguru had requested the High Court to allow the case against Raila to proceed.

Raila had requested that the hearing be stopped until he files an appeal challenging a ruling issued last November.

The ruling allowed the governor to conceal certain information regarding her lifestyle.

Raila had released a dossier claiming President Uhuru failed to include Waiguru’s name on a list of corrupt State officers.

Uhuru’s list saw several senior government officials, including Cabinet Secretaries lose their jobs.

Jojomuga wrote on Twitter: I salenda. This is too much for me to bear.

Munyaojk tweeted: Asi. How things have changed.

JOGUMTU wrote: Hehehehe, I told you. The is no opposition in KENYA. Kila mtu sasa ajipange.

 

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Minister caught on video masturbating says clip was for his wife

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South Africa’s embattled Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, has resigned two weeks after a video of him masturbating was widely circulated online.

A statement from the presidency said Mr Gigaba – a senior member of the governing African Natuional Congress (ANC) – was “stepping aside for the sake of our country and the movement to which he belongs”.

Mr Gigaba had accused South Africa’s security services of hacking his phone and releasing the 13-second video which, he says, was for his wife.

The 47-year-old has courted controversy in recent years over allegations that he used his powerful roles in various ministerial portfolios to assist the controversial Gupta business family.

The Indian-born businessmen were widely linked to several corruption scandals under ex-President Jacob Zuma’s administration.

All parties, including Mr Gigaba, deny any wrongdoing.

Many questioned Mr Gigaba’s fitness to hold office, saying his reputation had been tarnished.

In recent weeks, the questions grew louder, first over a Constitutional Court ruling which upheld an earlier finding that he lied under oath while giving evidence about a government contract.

This was followed by a recommendation by the public protector that he be disciplined for ethical breaches.

Opposition parties had been pushing President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack him, and they have welcomed his resignation.

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PHOTOS: See IG Boinnet’s female pilot 

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While Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet was on a peace keeping mission of Uasin Gishu, West Pokot and Samburu counties over the weekend, one of the people who facilitated the successful trip was Inspector of Police Caroline Kibuchi.

Kibuchi was the female captain in-charge of the MI-17 Police Helicopter that took round the IG round the three counties.

caroline kibuchi

“We celebrate the role played by female Police officers in their different capacities across the service.

We also impress upon other women in the wider society to take up opportunities available in the National Police Service whenever they arise,” a statement by the police read.

Caroline kibuchi

In July yet another woman, Fatuma Ahmed was sworn in by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the first female Major General.

Ahmed was promoted to Assistant Chief of the Defense Forces for Personnel and Logistics.

”I am counting on you to be a positive role model to women across the country,” President Kenyatta told her.

caroline kibuchi

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