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Seven Kenyan ambassadors snubbed by host nations

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In what could turn out to be a stinging indictment of the vetting process of State officers, the fate of seven recently appointed Kenyan diplomats is in limbo because host countries have kept their accreditation in abeyance.

Though the government has been trying behind the scenes to resolve the unprecedented diplomatic development on the postings, it would appear Russia, Turkey, Austria, China, Malaysia, Namibia and Qatar have rejected the new envoys.

And six months after being vetted by Parliament and consequently appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the seven; Ndegwa Muhoro (Malaysia), Hassan Wario (Austria), Benjamin Langat (Namibia), Johnson Kimani Ondieki (Turkey), Richard Ekai (Russia), Sarah Serem (China) and Paddy Ahenda (Qatar) have yet to report to their foreign duty stations.

Other appointments said to have run into the rare diplomatic headwinds include that of ambassador to the European Union (EU) Phyllis Kandie, who was later replaced by former Cabinet colleague Prof Jacob Kaimenyi.

Contacted for comment, Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary Monica Juma, who is out of the country on official duties, referred us to her Principal secretary Dr Kamau Macharia. But his office asked us to talk to the Political Desk Foreign Affairs (PDF) and by the time of going to press, we had yet to get a response despite promise to call us back.

A source attributed their plight to their previous assignments in government and questions on personal issues.

During diplomatic posting, the sending state (Kenya) has to inform receiving state of change of ambassador which is followed by providing details known as the Agreem’e to the state.

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It is, however, up to the receiving state to accredit them or out rightly reject them—either with or without documented reasons.

Although it is rare, countries usually reject ambassadors because of their own intelligence agency’s advisory and often would employ delaying tactics until the sending country reads between the lines and appoints a replacement.

And for Muhoro, his former position as Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), might have worked against his appointment as ambassador to Malaysia.

Former Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Ndegwa Muhoro

According to a source that sought anonymity, the Malaysian government has blocked his appointment citing his alleged blighted record during his tenure at Mazingira House, the DCI headquarters.

During his vetting process by the National Assembly, Muhoro whose first appointment to Israel as an envoy did not materialise, was confronted with allegations of spate of extra-judicial killings and unsolved high-profile murders during his tenure.

It is on that premise that sources revealed to People Daily, the Malaysian government under the new tough Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad blocked the former sleuth’s ambassadorial job.

While appearing before the National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, Muhoro faced intense scrutiny over his record as the country’s top criminal investigator. In a memorandum to Parliament, outspoken lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi asked the committee not to approve Muhoro’s nomination, citing alleged threats to his (Ahmednasir’s) life.

Corruption scandals

And in a continued onslaught on Muhoro in April 2017, the lawyer sensationally accused him of planning to kill him, alleging that the ex- DCI boss had assembled a team of five police officers to kill him, among them an individual he identified only as Kamau, who was to lead the execution of the plot.

READ ALSO:   Renounce US citizenship or kiss Ambassadorial job goodbye, Mwende Mwinzi told

Muhoro, however, denied the claims even as Abdullahi called on the Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to form an independent team of officers, excluding the DCI to probe his claims.

Former Sports CS Wario’s appointment may have run into trouble after he was charged together with Olympics legend Kipchoge Keino over the Sh55 million Rio Olympic graft scandal.

Former Sports CS Wario

His Principal secretary Ekai was also implicated in the same scandal with their cases still pending before the High Court.

It is, however, not clear why former Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chair Serem has not been accredited.

She was posted to China but has yet to report to her mission because delays in accreditation, with the populous Asian nation remaining mum on the matter. It is the same case for Ondiek, Ahenda and Langat who are still in the country despite Parliament approving their appointment.

Johnson Ondieki

Ondieki, a former commander of the UN’s 12,500 troops in South Sudan exited under controversial circumstances.

It has, however, emerged that the Foreign Affairs ministry has made spirited attempts to have Langat and Ahenda accredited by Namibia and Qatar respectively.

Paddy Ahenda

The determination is said to be premised on the presumption the two are not tainted by any known scandals.

Benjamin Langat

But a source that sought anonymity told People Daily that the government may concede on those implicated in corruption and other social misgivings.

READ ALSO:   Renounce US citizenship or kiss Ambassadorial job goodbye, Mwende Mwinzi told

“You don’t appear in court over corruption like Wario and you expect to serve as if nothing happened…the government can’t allow someone with tainted image to represent Kenya,” said the source.

The ground could be murkier for Muhoro who had reportedly been rejected by Israel even before President Uhuru appointed him.

Adbullahi had alleged that he got the information about the plot from a trusted senior police officer attached to the DCI, who “revealed” that Muhoro had planned to end the lawyer’s life.

“I left the country on Friday, March 24 (2017), to attend a Commonwealth lawyers’ conference in Australia, then travelled to Sydney, where I stayed for three days until March 30,” said Abdullahi.

He said he later travelled to Dubai and returned to Kenya on April 2, a day before the call from the senior police officer leaking the information.

“My contact warned me to take the information very seriously,” the lawyer claimed.

But Muhoro took a swipe at the lawyer, revealing that he was under investigation for fraud and forgery.

In his unprecedented shake-up, President Uhuru edged-out long-serving Muhoro at the helm of DCI, replacing him with George Kinoti.

As CID boss, he was unable to crack the murders of controversial businessman Jacob Juma, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ICT director Chris Musando and Bunty Shah, the only son of Bobmill Mattresses owner.

 

Source: People Daily

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Africa

Ethiopia plane crash victims to be buried Thursday

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Families who lost loved ones in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on March 10, 2019 will begin receiving their remains on Monday for burial, the Nation has learnt.

The Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-302 crashed in Bishoftu, a few minutes after take-off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

On Sunday, the family of John Quindos Karanja, who lost five relatives, told the Nation that they will be ferrying the remains ahead of burial on Thursday.

“We thank all Kenyans for the overwhelming emotional, spiritual and financial support towards our family. On Monday we shall be ferrying the remains of our loved ones after they were successfully identified. We plan to have the burial on Thursday, October 17,” said Mr Karanja.

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) announced in September that it had positively identified all the 149 passengers and eight crew who died in the crash.

Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said the organisation had to rely on accurate DNA sampling from close blood relatives of the victims to make correct identification, which took the group six months.

The Nakuru family’s five members, among them Mr Karanja’s wife Ann Wangui Karanja, daughter Caroline Quinns Karanja and three grandchildren Ryan Njoroge (7), Kellie Wanjiku (5) and Rubi Wangui (9 months) perished in the plane crash.

READ ALSO:   Renounce US citizenship or kiss Ambassadorial job goodbye, Mwende Mwinzi told

The family from Kwa Amos village in Kabatini, Bahati in Nakuru County intended to slaughter three goats to celebrate the return.

Mr Karanja’s wife was to bring home her grandchildren who had been living in Canada when the tragedy struck.

A relative of another family from Kipkelion that lost their son – Cosmas Kipng’etich Rogony – also confirmed some members had travelled to Ethiopia to pick his remains.

“The family of the late Rogony travelled and are expected back this week,” said the relative.

Mr Rogony, who until his death was an employee of General Electric’s healthcare division, left behind a one-year-old daughter and a 27-year-old widow Miriam Wanja.

He hailed from Saoset village in Kipkelion West Sub-County.

In March, the families held prayers for their departed relatives but there were no caskets or bodies.

by Nation.co.ke

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‘It’s a fake account’: Tycoon Jimi Wanjigi speaks out on Kipchoge jet claims

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Business tycoon Jimi Wanjigi has broken his silence about claims on social media that he will deliver a jet to Eliud Kipchoge.

Speaking on phone, Mr. Wanjigi lauded the marathoner for making Kenya proud but revealed that the post on Twitter was not from him.

“It is a fake account, it has nothing to do with me but we are proud of Eliud Kipchoge for what he has done for the human race and for Kenya in particular,” he told Citizen Digital on Saturday.

“I actually want to meet the person behind the tweet over a cup of tea because his creativity has shaped conversations of Kenyans online,” he added.

Lawyer Willis Otieno confirmed that the businessman does not communicate on social media accounts meaning that both Twitter pages —@Jimmywanjigi1 and @JimiWanjigi—are parody accounts.

The statement was in response to a controversial tweet that was published after Kipchoge made history in Vienna on Saturday.

It reads: “Congratulations!! You have done us proud #Eliud159. Plans are underway with @GulfstreamAero, the jet will be deliver to #eliudkipchoge before 29th November 2019.”

A section of Kenyans online had responded to the tweet lauding Mr. Wanjigi for the gesture while a few questioned the authenticity of the account.

On October 9, the person operating the account also claimed that the business tycoon had called Kipchoge and made the deal.

READ ALSO:   Renounce US citizenship or kiss Ambassadorial job goodbye, Mwende Mwinzi told

 

This is not the first time that Mr. Wanjigi’s name has been used on social media to spread fake information.

In March this year, a fact checking organization sounded the alarm over a fake Facebook post that linked the businessman to the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.

“PesaCheck has looked into the alleged front page story linking Jimmy Wanjigi to the Arror and Kimwarer Dam scandals and finds it to be a HOAX,” the report said.

A year before that, the businessman sued the Nation Media Group over the publication of a fake obituary on February 7, 2018.

The High Court awarded him Ksh. 8million after ruling that the publication violated Wanjigi’s privacy.

By Citizen Digital

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Why a STEM Degree is a great Idea for International Students Wishing To Study In USA

It is true that you can find a Job with any kind of degree that you study, but the BIG question a lot of people don’t have an answer to is whether it will be easy to get work immigration papers with the same degree that you possess.

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When majority of people think of coming to study in the US, they really don’t have an idea of what happens after they graduate in terms of Job opportunities and immigration papers. Most assume things will be alright. After all, it is USA-the land of honey and milk!

Well, that is the mentality that I also had when I started preparing to come to United states for my master’s degree. All I wanted was to find a school that could accept me for any degree that I deemed fit. I didn’t care much about post-graduation job opportunities. I thought that I could easily find a Job with any degree that I studied.

It is indeed true that you can find a Job with any kind of degree that you study, but the BIG question a lot of people don’t have an answer to is whether it will be easy to get work immigration papers with the same degree that you possess.

I came to the US to study an MBA with a concentration in professional accountancy. I had a Bachelor of commerce degree in Accounting and Finance from back home and I had some work experience as an accounts clerk and as a bank teller. I thought with such an employment and education background, it would be very easy for me to get a Job after I acquired my master’s degree. After all, this is America…right? Well I was totally wrong!

It took me four months of fruitless internships search in my last semester, and a couple of months working in a fast food, to realize that the qualifications I had would not take me where I wanted to be. I had to seek some IT training in order to re-align my qualifications with the demands of the US market and that is how I ended up becoming an IT consultant.

Before I landed in America, I had no idea what STEM was. So, what is really STEM? STEM is acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. In every economy across the world, a STEM degree is highly coveted. Same with the US. The US government highly value those international students with a STEM degree and I will shortly tell you why.

One thing as an international student you need to understand is that, the US government actually loves retaining smart international students, in order to grow its economy. In fact, the US government has work visas specifically for those smart people who have the skills that most Americans do not possess. The truth of the matter is, what the current administration doesn’t like and is fighting so hard is those folks who are in the country as undocumented and have  no education at all. They would be more than happy to retain brilliant brains who can propel the country to greater heights to help compete with the likes of China and other western and emerging economies.

READ ALSO:   Renounce US citizenship or kiss Ambassadorial job goodbye, Mwende Mwinzi told

When you come to the US as an international student, you are given an opportunity to work after you graduate. You can apply for a post-graduation work authorization called OPT (Optional Practical Training). This work authorization gives you an opportunity to find work that is related to your degree qualifications. For example, if you graduate as a nurse, you can only find employment using your OPT to work in the nursing industry. You cannot work as an associate at an Amazon fulfillment facility just because you have the work authorization. If you do that, you will be violating your immigration status as an International student which can have some nasty consequences later on. The last thing you want to do in this country as an international student is to screw up your immigration status and credit worthiness. Make sure those 2 are intact as you pursue your American dream. Very very Important!

One of the most obvious advantages of having a STEM degree is the available job opportunities. It is believed that STEM occupations continue to grow at about 30%  rate by 2025. That is incredible! Regular occupations are growing at a 7% rate, according to bureau of labor statistics. What this really means is that, you are more likely to find a Job if you possess a STEM degree.

As an international student who wish to stay in the US, after your graduation, you should always think of how to get your immigration papers. STEM degree holders are given extra 2 years of OPT if they can find an e-verified employer to give them a Job. Regular degree gives you only 1 year of OPT. Now, you may ask, why is this a BIG deal. It is a big deal because, for you to get immigration papers, your sponsoring employer can either file for you a H1B visa petition or an employment based greencard, and your OPT affects your probability of getting H1B or employment-based greencard. Most International students will go through H1B route first because it does not require years of work experience like the greencard. Meaning you can graduate from university with zero experience and get H1B work visa. The problem with H1B visas is that, there is a limit to the number of visas offered by the government every year and the visas are not enough to meet the huge demand, especially from Indians who unsurprisingly mostly possess STEM degrees.

READ ALSO:   Renounce US citizenship or kiss Ambassadorial job goodbye, Mwende Mwinzi told

The US gives a maximum of 85,000 H1B visas with 65,000 of those going to those with undergraduate degrees and 20,000 going to those with master’s degree from US institutions. For the last 5 years or so, the petitions from employers have exceeded the available visas and therefore the USCIS has been doing a lottery to pick out the winners.

The earliest your employer can file for your H1B is on April 1st, and the cap is usually filled in the first week of April, meaning, if you miss out the first time, your employer can only file for you again the following year, April. If you only have 1 year of OPT, you are locked out because it means, you have to go back to school in order to maintain your immigration status as an international student! Can you imagine going back to do another program just to maintain your status as an international student? Other than the obvious huge cost of going back to school, the other major problem with this is that, you can also not get another OPT if you study in the same education level. For example, if you graduate with a master’s and you again enroll for a master’s you will not qualify for another OPT. This can put you in a very awkward position because, in order to work for any employer, you need some sort of work authorization. I can cover this topic of how to maneuver this issue on another day!

READ ALSO:   Renounce US citizenship or kiss Ambassadorial job goodbye, Mwende Mwinzi told

So what does this mean to those with a STEM degree?….It means that as a STEM degree holder, if you are not picked in the lottery,  you can use your remaining 2 years of OPT to continue working for your employer for 2 more years as you keep trying your luck in the H1B lottery pot. Also, at the same time, you can accumulate enough experience that can actually make you qualify for an employment-based greencard which means you can start the greencard process after about 2 years of OPT work experience.

So, if you are out there as a prospective international student who want to stay in the US after graduation, think about STEM degree. Do not just take any degree for the sake of it. There are thousands if not millions of immigrants who came to the US as international student who do not possess the right immigration papers which has forced them to do jobs that do not pay them well. Most of those folks wish they knew how to figure out how to get immigration papers through employment early in their school life.

Most people, before they land in this country, they don’t pay much attention to immigration papers, but once you land in the US you will realize why that is a BIG deal. Immigration papers is the topmost challenge immigrants face in this country.

 

About me;

I am the founder and managing director of Appstec America-A consulting company that helps immigrants find education and job opportunities that are abundant here in the United States.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of.

For inquiries about my international scholars programs & IT training programs, you can check out my personal website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

You can also email me at success@successwithbobmwiti.com or call +1 813-573-5619 ext 402 for a FREE 30 minutes consultation. Also, we can connect if you “like” my Facebook page by the name Bob Mwiti or subscribe to my YouTube channel by same name Bob Mwiti

 

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