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Kenyan lawyers in US push for Diaspora vote

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A group of Kenyan lawyers based in the United States is mobilising their compatriots in North America and Europe to agitate for the implementation of voting rights for  Kenyans in Diaspora.

The lawyers have accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of abrogating fundamental provisions of the Constitution and the bill  of rights that guarantees the rights for all Kenyans to participate in their country’s electoral and governance processes. 

The lawyers coalescing under the clarion call “Kenyans in the Diaspora Must Vote” (KDMV) movement have promised to collect a million signatures from all Kenyans of goodwill to petition the government to pay close attention on their right to vote.

Minnesota-based advocates Henry Ongeri and Peter Omari are leading the movement. They have also contracted lawyers based in Nairobi to assist in pursuing contempt of court charges to be filed against IEBC for disobeying an order from the Supreme Court six years ago, requiring them to come up with the road map for Diaspora voting. 

When President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the US in August, the implementation of the constitutional clause on Diaspora voting was a big elephant in the room that led major concern.

Kenyans in the US tried in vain to meet Uhuru over the matter. They accused ambassador Robinson Githae of frustrating their efforts. 

Observers believe the president’s failure to create room and meet with members of the Kenyan community living in America, was a calculated move intended to avoid embarrassing questions on why his government has not demonstrated the desire to operationalise the constitutional provisions that allow Kenyans abroad to vote.

Ongeri said IEBC faces imminent and inevitable contempt of court charges to be filed soon.

“The fact that IEBC was served with an order to commence the process of facilitating Kenyans living overseas, and not those living in East Africa alone, but ignored the Supreme Court order, demonstrates a sort of conspiracy to lock out one of the most important demographics considered key players in stabilising Kenya’s economy through their foreign exchange contributions,” he said.

People Daily

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1 Comment

  1. Dottie

    September 21, 2018 at 10:06 am

    True, but the push to have Kenyans vote in 2022 involves many more patriots, not just attorneys. Of particular note are the KDMV leaders Treasurer Rosemary Musumba (New York), Vice Chair Richard Ooga (Minnesota), Organizing Secretary Elijah Magutu (Texas), Secretary Peter Makori (Missouri), Members Charles Michira, Jeremiah Ongeri, Doris Adera. We are also grateful to the contributions of Attorney Donald Deya of the Legal/Public Affairs Committee and Huldah Momanyi of California. Last but not least are the very many Kenyans and friends of Kenya who have identified with the cause and continue to support it.

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GOFUNDME: Kindly help Jackie Koli bury her mom and get justice

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Jackie Koli’s mom, Beatrice Wanjiku Gitura (pictured above), was murdered in cold blood after she went missing on Friday, May 22, 2020.
On Saturday May 23rd, her body was found in her car a few Kilometers from Embu Town.  Her throat had been slit, hands tied with a rope and a piece of cloth tied across her mouth. It was double tragedy since the sister to her mom (Jackie’s auntie) passed on the same day- Friday morning after battling with cancer.Jackie, an only child, needs our financial support as she prepares to bury her mom and seek justice. Any help will be highly appreciated.

Kindly donate here via Gofundme

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VIDEO: Mom to Kenyan lady in US murdered in cold blood

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With great sadness we wish to inform you of the sudden and unexpected passing of Jackie Koli‘s mom, Beatrice Wanjiku Gitura.

She went missing on Friday May 22 and later found murdered in her car. Her throat had been slit, hands tied with a rope and a piece of cloth tied across her mouth.

The body was in the passenger’s seat and the car was abandoned on the roadside. Beatrice, 57, went missing on Friday after leaving work. Her body was found in Njukiri, Embu, about 20km from her residence.

The late Beatrice Wanjiku

It’s a double tragedy since the sister to her mom (Jackie’s auntie) passed on the same day- Friday morning after battling with cancer.
Jackie, an only child, needs our financial support as she prepares to bury her mom and seek justice. Any help will be highly appreciated.
Jackie Koli lives in Seattle, Washington State.

Kindly make your donation through either of these channels:

GoFundMe-Help Jackie bury her mom and seek justice

CashApp:

253-245-6057 – ($PriscillaMuiruri)
206-372-2899 – ($Jacklinekoli)
Zelle: 206-372-2899 – (Koli Ann)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Diaspora remittances decline by Sh2.2b in April

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Money coming in from Kenyans living and working abroad dropped by Sh2.2 billion in April to total $208.2 million (Sh22.3 billion).
This is compared to Sh24.5 billion received in March, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). It was the lowest monthly remittance since February last year when Kenyans overseas sent back home $199 million (Sh21.2 billion at today’s exchange rate).
However, the cumulative inflows in the 12 months to April were higher at $2,801 million (Sh299 billion) compared to $2,750 million (Sh294 billion) over a similar period last year.
“Remittance flows from the US and Canada (contributing about 58 per cent of all remittances in April) remained largely unchanged from March, while inflows from UK, Germany, South Africa, EAC region, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia declined, reflecting the impact of Covid-19,” said CBK in its weekly bulletin.
CBK expects the Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted economic activities around the world, to curtail the remittances, which have recently been critical pillars of the country’s exchange rate.
Foreign exchange
In March, diaspora remittances generally went up but inflows from South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius and Oman declined, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus disease on a critical source of foreign exchange for the country.
Nearly 40 million people in the US have filed for unemployment as Covid-19 wipes out livelihoods in the world’s largest economy, and where a lot of Kenyans live and work. So far, remittances from these regions have continued to flow in steadily. However, the tide of money from North America and Europe will not last forever as the pandemic hits these regions hard.
An article by CNBC showed that 70 per cent of companies in Dubai expect to go out of business in the next six months, a situation that would affect a lot of Kenyans working in the Gulf states.
Economists have noted that most Africans in the diaspora are employed in jobs that do not have safety nets, and are not eligible for the welfare cash that a lot of industrialised countries have provided for businesses and households in distress.
Currently, most of those abroad might have raised their remittances due to increased distress calls from relatives and friends back home who are feeling the heat of the pandemic.
Many Africans working overseas have either been laid off or sent on unpaid leave and are now living on their savings. Diaspora remittances have become Kenya’s key source of foreign exchange reserves, more than even tea, coffee and tourism.
In the region, the World Bank expects diaspora remittances to decline sharply.
Expected to drop
“In 2020, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to drop by around 20 per cent to $445 billion (Sh47.6 trillion), from $554 billion (Sh59.2 trillion) in 2019,” said the global lender in a new report on remittances and migration.
“In the midst of this sharp decline, the relative importance of remittance flows as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries is expected to rise.” Nigeria remains the largest recipient of remittances in sub-Saharan Africa and is the sixth-largest beneficiary among low- to middle-income countries, with an estimated amount of $23.8 billion (Sh2.5 trillion) received in 2019, an increase of more than half a billion dollars compared to 2018.
Ghana and Kenya are ranked a distant second and third in the region, with $3.5 billion (Sh374 billion) and $2.8 billion (Sh299 billion) received, respectively.

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