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Amb Githae stops controversial ID issuance exercise in US Cities, says no E-passports at Embassy

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Kenya’s ambassador to the United States, Robinson Njeru Githae, he halted the controversial ID issuance outreach program after a section of Kenyans in the US complained that the exercise was marred by corruption.

In September this year, a widely circulated social media post touched off a heated debate among Kenyan diaspora.

‘SH15,000’

The anonymous author of the post put Mr Githae at the centre of the alleged scandal, claiming he was abetting corruption at the embassy.

Through his handlers, the author claimed, Mr Githae was charging $150 (about Sh15,000) instead of the official fee of $45 (about Sh4,500) for an identity card. Kenyans living in Kansas, the author added, are required to raise at least Sh1.6 million for the embassy staff to travel to the city to issue the vital documents on October 6 and 7.

The envoy however denied the corruption claims terming them “baseless and meant to besmirch the good reputation of the embassy.”

“The information circulating around on social media has no basis in facts,” he was quoted as saying.

But on Thursday, Amb Githae said: “Because of the negative comments made over the exercise, the IDs will now only be issued at the embassy in Washington DC.”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Amb Githae denies corruption allegations in ID, Passport issuance exercise

Meanwhile, Mr Githae has told Kenyans applying for new Passports that, contrary to popular belief, the e-passports are not being processed and that anyone who applies at the embassy will still get the old document which will need to be renewed come October 2019.

The envoy was speaking in New York Thursday during a Brand-Kenya event.

“We don’t process any passports in Washington an the e-passport machine has not arrived yet,” he said.

Watch the video courtesy of Samrack Media:

 

This is in contrast to regular statements attributed to interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, painting an-all-is-well picture of the passport issuance process.

The Kenyan Embassy on R Street in Washington DC, USA. Former Finance Minister Njeru Githae is the Kenyan Ambassador to the US. PHOTO | BMJ MURIITHI

The directive to roll out the issuance of the EAC e-passport was launched during the 17th EAC Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held in Arusha Tanzania on March 2, 2016.

Ideally, were Kenya to roll out the new document as earlier projected, it would become the second EAC State to launch the e-passport after Burundi.

Currently, applications for e-passports can be done online through the e-citizen platform but the applicants will be required to present themselves in person for biometric capture at the passport issuing offices in  Nairobi.

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Kenyan gay couple ask Maraga to let them get married

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Over the weekend, a photo of two Kenyan men announcing their intentions to get married was widely shared and the couple has now asked the government to bend backwards and help them realise their dream.

Through a number of posts, Fredrick Ogah Jr has openly declared his intention to marry his fiancé and even dared those who are uncomfortable with the idea to unfriend him on social media.

“If you don’t like my marriage please go to hell and unfriend me…I need space for new people,” read a caption on a photo where he was posing with his ‘girlfriend’ while holding a pack of condoms.

On Monday he said: “am begging the Kenya government to make laws that will allow me to marry my some sex…pls maraga upheld the case set as frdom.(sic)”

The posts drew hostile reactions from netizens who strongly condemned him for indecency.

source:standardmedia.co.ke

READ ALSO:   Just like at home, getting passport for Kenyans abroad is a tough task
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Museveni accepts proposal to run for 6th term in 2021, says he’s ‘still very able’

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Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, aged 74, has affirmed he still has the strength to extend his rule to hit the four-decade mark.

He spoke after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) lawmakers endorsed him to continue leading the party and the state in a controversial move.

The parliamentary caucus in Kyankwanzi District unanimously endorsed the Chobe resolution by the party’s central executive committee (CEC) to have President Museveni continue leading the neighbouring East African nation.

“I’m therefore very pleased with your confidence in me and since I am still very able and I happen to be among the most conversant with this journey, I happily agree to serve,” said the President, fetching a thunderous applause from the legislators who nominated him unanimously on Sunday.

NRM Spokesperson Rogers Mulindwa, in a statement on Sunday, said the legislators’ position was taken shortly after secretary-general Justine Ksaule Lumumba’s presentation titled: Towards 2021: Milestones and Strategies for the NRM Party. 

This development implies that Museveni, already in power for 33 years, will be seeking a record sixth term in power during the 2021 general election.

He will battle it out in the 2021 poll with 37 year old MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and 62 year old Kizza Besigye, who has unsuccessfully tried to dislodge Museveni in Uganda’s 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016 elections.

READ ALSO:   Just like at home, getting passport for Kenyans abroad is a tough task

Museveni has been in power since January 26, 1986.

source: Nairobi News

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COSTLY: KTDA ordered to pay woman Sh1.5m for photo

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The High Court has asked the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) to pay a woman whose photo it used on marketing materials without her consent Sh1.5 million compensation.

Justice Lucy Gitari ruled that KTDA used Ann Njoki Kumena’s image on its marketing brochures without her consent, thus infringing on her rights.

The judge noted that Ms Kumena has a right to control how her image is used and that KTDA should have obtained her consent before using the same.

“Having considered the purpose for which the photograph was used which was for commercial purposes, a reasonable award ought to be given to the plaintiff. I find that an award of Sh1,500,000 is reasonable in the circumstances,” said the judge at Kerugoya High Court.

Ms Kumena claimed that KTDA unlawfully photographed and used her image, saying the action amounts to unlawful conduct and constitutes unjust enrichment of itself and unlawful interference with economic interest.

But KTDA opposed the claim saying she is not entitled to any royalties in a photo she does not have copyright to.

The firm noted that even if she is subject in the photo, which it denied she was, KTDA noted that she accepted to be photographed and voluntarily posed for the same and has not suffered any loss/damage nor had her fundamental rights been infringed upon as alleged.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Amb Githae denies corruption allegations in ID, Passport issuance exercise

However, the judge said Ms Kumena proved that KTDA took the photo without her consent and used her photographs for commercial purposes, that is, advertisement of its products without paying any compensation.

The photo was published on brochure entitled Kenya Teas: Our field: Our Process and captioned ‘Plucking Green Leaf’.

The court noted that the photo was used as evidence that the tea is picked from KTDA plantations for the production of the quality tea being advertised and yet no consent was obtained.

This violated her rights entrenched in the constitution, the judge observed.

“Where a right is violated and the culprit has gained from that violation, the person is entitled to damages,” the judge noted.

KTDA was also ordered to pay the cost she incurred prosecuting the case in court.

Source: businessdailyafrica.com

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