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VIDEO: Diaspora returnee who holds dual Citizenship (US & Kenya) grilled by Parliament after Uhuru nominates her as ambassador



A parliamentary committee vetting nominees for diplomatic postings faces a puzzle over whether those who hold dual citizenship should be granted state jobs.

This cropped up during the vetting of Mwende Mwinzi who was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya’s ambassador to South Korea.

Mwinzi, who is from Kitui, is a citizen of the US and Kenya.

 She was born and raised in the country before she left for the US as a teenager. Her mother is from Wisconsin.

MPs in the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee raised concerns of the dilemma should they approve her nomination.

The worry is that it would be difficult to trust whether she would stand with Kenya in case the US has strained relations with South Korea.

“Where would you stand in the event that the US takes a different position on a matter to do with Korea? Wouldn’t your links to the US put Kenya at a precarious situation?” Saku MP Ali Raso asked.

Mwende Mwinzi shortl;y after being grilled by the Foreign Affairs parliamentary committee. FILE PHOTO

The committee cited the case of former IEBC commissioner Roselyne Akombe whom they accused of fleeing the country at the height of the challenges affecting the electoral commission in the run-up to the repeat election.

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“How sure are we that you won’t be like the other one (Akombe) who fled when things got hot at the IEBC?” Raso asked.

The Katoo ole Metito-lead committee further cited the case of an official (unnamed) who was to represent President Kenyatta at a function in the US but was not given recognition.

The claim is that the US felt that by representation, the fellow was acting on behalf of the Kenyan President since yet the person had dual citizenship.

Mwinzi admitted she has lived in the US for long but quickly reminded the lawmakers she spends a lot of time in Nairobi with her family.

“I am the most patriotic Kenyan you will ever find. I have made it a practice to spend much time in the country, not just as my home but also as a person who has helped develop communities in my area,” she said.

“I can’t reemphasize my commitment to Kenya having voted and participated in elections here more than in the US. Bad experiences will be everywhere but that wouldn’t remove my links to Kenya,” she said.

Mwinzi was a founding member of the PNU wing in the US where she raised funds and campaigned for former President Mwai Kibaki.

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“My engagement in community work and childhood has been in Kenya. I am a Kenyan through and through. I speak fluent Kamba and Kiswahili,” she added.

But MPs further raised issues of whether the nominee would remit taxes to Kenya or to the US.

“We are careful about this being the first case of its kind and will set a precedent for the country,” Metito said.

Kenya deported lawyer Miguna Miguna in a dual citizenship row despite the court ruling in favour of the self-declared NRMKe leader.

The Constitution says a citizen by birth does not lose citizenship by acquiring that of another country.

During the vetting, Mwinzi said she would focus on narrowing the trade imbalance between Nairobi and Seoul.

This followed revelations that while Korea traded Sh17 billion with Kenya, the latter exported about Sh3.2 billion worth of goods in 2017.

The nominee said Kenya’s products don’t do well because they are in raw form, calling for the need for value addition.

The candidate said if appointed, she would implore the relevant agencies to act upon the trade imbalance.

“Unless we value add, we will not get to the top shilling or top dollar for our goods. There is no reason we should export tomato only to import it as tomato paste…the same being the case of coffee.”

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She revealed that Kenya has suffered a temporary ban for products such as green beans owing to quality issues and fears of pest infiltration.

“We have not been able to export produce that is pest-free and every nation is concerned about agricultural goods that may come and infringe on their ecosystem.”

Kenya may get a window, however, to export unripe bananas and broccoli even as the trade deficit is worsened by high taxes imposed on Kenyan tea by Korea.

Mwende called on concerned agencies to speed up the development of special economic zones to employ youths adding that Seoul would be keen on putting up value addition firms.

The nominee said she cannot promise much about tourism inflows from the east owing to the short vacation time granted to Korean citizens.

-The Star

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Governor Kingi tell off DP Ruto over hustler movement




Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has torn into wheelbarrow initiatives by Deputy President William Ruto terming it a political gimmick that has no benefit to Kenyans.

While addressing Kilifi residents during this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations at Pwani University grounds the governor said Kenyans will only be freed from poverty, tribalism, and unemployment through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

“The same that are opposing the BBI are the ones going out to give out wheelbarrows as handouts. So they are blocking you from getting the benefits of the BBI and think that they can blindfold you with wheelbarrows,” he said.

Kingi who was in the company of Kilifi County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka said that the BBI report has outlined various interventions including increasing money to counties from the current 15 per cent they are receiving, a situation he said will improve the lives of the residents in counties.

“We have been pushing for the increase of funds to counties from the current 15 per cent and that has been addressed in the BBI report. But it baffles me that someone would go to an extent of opposing the document with all these interventions and then the only thing he gives is wheelbarrows. This is unfair and such people should be ignored,” the governor added.

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Kingi downplayed the hustler narrative saying that the DP is far away richer than the people he wants to lie to always.

“If you are hustler like him, then show me your chopper, your luxury houses not one and the luxury cars you own and then we shall know that you are like him. Other than that, then you are cheating yourself away,” he said.

He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to immediately release the contents of the BBI report to Kenyans so that the speculative agenda by the Tangatanga team can be silenced.

“If we continue to withhold the report, the prophets of doom will continue to speculate and continue to lie to Kenyans about its contents, I am asking the President and Mr Odinga to release the report,” he added.

Kingi also promised to help deliver and explain the BBI document to his residents, insisting that he will lead in ensuring that Kilifi gets to know the importance of what is contained in the document.

“I will move out as a Governor in 2022 and another person will come in but if BBI is not addressed then the challenges that are there will still exist. I will be in my most pains when after retirement, the only thing I will see in Kilifi is wheelbarrows. That is not what we want as Kilifi residents,” he said.

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Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee named the new Harambee Stars coach




Celebrated coach and media personality Jacob Ghost Mulee has made a return to the National team.

This comes just a day after Head coach Francis Kimanzi and his entire technical team was shown the door.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) confirmed the appointment of Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee and has since unveiled him.

Mulee first assignment is to prepare the team that will face Comoros in AFCON Qualifier match that’s set to be played in November.

Kimanzi left the scene after he masterminded what had been tipped to be an unlikely friendly win against Zambia on October 9 at Nyayo Stadium.

He was appointed in 2019 to replace Sebastien Migne who he worked with as an assistant coach.

Mulee return reminds Kenyans when national team charges helped to qualify for the 2004 Afcon edition in Tunisia.

He is also credited to have mentored the current J1 League top scorer Michael Olunga and his appointment has provided an opportunity for the duo to work again at national level.

Under Nick Mwendwa Mulee becomes the fifth coach to have been appointed since he took office in 2016.

Stanley Okumbi took over in February 2016 and exited in October 2017 while Paul Put who led Kenya to Cecafa title took over in November 2017 and left in February 2018.

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Migne who led the country to the 2019 Afcon finals but, a Chan qualifying setback against Tanzania saw him part ways with the team on mutual consent paving the way for Kimanzi’s rise to the helm.

Kimanzi remained in charge from August 2019 to October 20, 2020, and he left just days after Mwendwa had secured another four-year term as the FKF president.

Mulee and his technical bench are expected to help Harambee Stars fight for back-to-back Afcon qualifications with two matches against Egypt and Togo already played.

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Lolani Kalu lands lucrative TV job 




Former NTV journalist Lolani Kalu is set to make TV comeback after landing a job in a local upcoming TV station.

The talented journalist made headlines a month ago after his plight after retirement was highlighted with his fans calling on the public to come to his rescue.

Speaking to fellow journalists today, Lolani disclosed that he had just signed a one-year contract with TV47 that will see him become coast regional reporter for the station.

According to the 57-year old, the opportunity came after his fans saw him shooting a personal show with one of the artists he was interviewing having TV47 branding.

The excited fans then called the station to find out if he had signed a deal with them and that is what prompted the young TV station to hand Lolani the contract.

He said that he was very grateful and delighted for having another chance in media, adding that the opportunity to work with the station will help him get back on his feet after financial constraints in recent years.

Lolani hopes to revive some of the shows he had while still on NTV like Gumzo Mtaani and Malinmwengu na Lolani at TV47.

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He further promised to give back to his fans who came in scores to support him when his story went viral on social media, making him believe in himself and rise again.

He also lauded supporters who did a fundraiser for him through some of the shows that he has since started since he bought a new camera.

He stated that discussions are in progress with TV47 to schedule the exact date for him to return to the screens after putting pen to paper with the TV station.

Lolani also thanked his fans for believing in his work adding that he spent the money they contributed for him in acquiring equipment including a camera worth Sh370, 000.

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