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Legal position on Mwinzi’s nomination hazy

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Mwende Mwinzi, the ambassadorial nominee for South Korea, may be waiting for the spinning coin to land so that she can know whether she will get the job, or be forced to renounce her US citizenship.

In the past, she campaigned for Kenya’s positive image abroad behind the scenes. The philanthropist, famed for her Twana Twitu Children’s Orphanage, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, of Kenyan parents.

Though born in the US, she is also a Kenyan citizen as her parents were born here.

Usually, citizenship by birth cannot be revoked, but only renounced through a lengthy procedure.

But the question as to whether she should be ambassador or not may be negated by her past efforts on behalf of Kenya. Shortly after Kenya returned to normalcy after the 2007/2008 post-election violence, government bureaucrats suggested that an image-cleaning mission was needed to assure the US and other Western allies that Kenya had turned over a new leaf.

Multiple accounts by Kenyan diplomats show that part of the programme involved showing the world that Kenya was adopting a new Constitution, widening civil liberties, fronting reconciliation and that it needed tourists, as well as approval for direct flights to turn around its economy.

But it was also facing the issue of the International Criminal Court, where some prominent politicians had been indicted for crimes against humanity.

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

The first decision was to hire Washington PR firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schelchter Associates (CLS Strategies) to portray a positive image and demonstrate to the world that there was domestic legal backing to complement the ICC.

A diplomat at the Foreign ministry said Ms Mwinzi introduced the CLS group to government officials and served as the link person between Nairobi and the lobbyists.

Shadow diplomacy

CLS had signed a contract with the government in 2009, which was renewed in 2011 for it to continue lobbying, during the ICC period.

The group, in partnership with Moffet Group, a lobby founded by a former Congressman, and which focused on US-Africa policies, worked their phones to fix appointments with senior politicians in Congress to try and shift that perception.

Whether they were successful or not is debatable, but Nairobi paid about Sh400 million for their services, which included business-class travel, according to documents on the US Department of Justice website as part of legal requirement to declare foreign agents served by local firms. The documents do not list Ms Mwinzi as an associate.

In international relations circles, this type of lobbying, where embassies are bypassed in favour of image firms, is known as shadow diplomacy.

She had good contacts and could link up US officials with Kenyan policy deciders. The problem was that it seemed as if she was doing embassy work, which is to advance Kenya’s interests, said another official who worked at the Kenyan mission in Washington at the time but has since been transferred.

READ ALSO:   Stop being petty, Raila tells Kenyan legislators over Mwende Mwinzi standoff

At one point, the idea of lobbyists seemed to render embassy officials redundant.

Now, with her formal nomination as an envoy, she seems to be meeting legal hurdles that escaped her before.

In 2017, she unsuccessfully ran for the Mwingi West parliamentary seat. As MPs are also State officers, the question of her dual nationality would have arisen, had she won. Part of the problem, experts say, is that the framing of the law is contradictory.

“The real problem we have is the question of Kenyans holding dual nationality. On one hand, we love their contribution through remittances while on the other, we don’t want them to hold public or State offices,” said Mr George Mucee, an immigration consultant and practice leader at Fragomen Kenya in Nairobi.

“Think about the fact that they have a right to vote, yet they cant vie for elective (or appointive) positions. We need to have a robust discussion on this issue and probably amend the Constitution, “he told the Nation.

During her vetting, Ms Mwinzi, 48, argued that dual nationality does not affect ambassadors, even though they may be considered State officers. She also defended her loyalty to Kenya.

“From my adulthood, everything about my life has been Kenya-bound, she said. “Every envoy is first a national, a defender, so your first mandate and only mandate is to serve the country.”

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

Source:Daily Nation.

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Open ditch along Ngong Road that is posing great risk to motorists

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A ditch that is unmarked along Ngong Road is causing havoc for many motorists.

In calls made by members of the public on various social media accounts on Facebook – many have lamented the great risk that the ditch is posing to motorists using the road.

On Thursday, Mr Martin Murithi, in a post on Facebook, asked the contractor to mark various parts of the road as construction continues.

“The marking of roads under construction are wanting, the contractors are really exposing motorists to danger,” he wrote.

Another Facebook user, Lemiso Emmanuel, asked motorists using the road to be extra careful.

“Unmarked ditch along Ngong Road. Drive carefully,” he posted.

various photos have also been shared of vehicles which have in recent times landed on the ditch.

BY Nairobi News

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

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Eliud Kipchoge was on Sunday celebrated by being awarded the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kipchoge was personally decorated by the president at the tail end of the head of state’s speech to commemorate the 10th Mashujaa Day celebrations at Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa county.

“Eliud Kipchoge remains the greatest of our time. His latest conquest is a reminder that we can achieve our very best as individual and collectively as a nation,” President Kenyatta said as the audience cheered.

He then invited Kipchoge to the podium, shook his hand and draped him with the golden sash.

The Head of State also acknowledged Brigid Kosgei who recently smashed the women marathon record in Chicago.

Present at the event were Deputy President William Ruto, opposition leader Raila Odinga, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho among other distinguished leaders.

The Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya is the highest honour that can be awarded to a civilian.

LIVING LEGEND

Kipchoge recently became the first human being to run the 42-km marathon race in under two hours.

He timed an astonishing 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria, in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge aimed at proving that no human is limited.

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

“We are fortunate to a have living legend who also is an inspiration to all Kenyans. He achieved this through integrity and hard work,” said the President.

The president also honoured all journalists who play their proper role and urged scribes not to be corrupted in their role by receiving the infamous ‘brown envelopes’.

“Journalists should always speak the truth and avoid sensationalism,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta also commended Kenyan musicians, artistes and comedians.

By Nairobi News

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Keys to exams container stolen

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Lukenya Assistant County Commissioner, Elizabeth Karitu, was on Saturday night arrested after losing keys to container storing national examinations papers in Athi River, Machakos County.

Through a statement, Machakos County Commissioner, Elizabeth Maina, said Karitu was arrested when she went to report the loss of the keys at Parklands Police Station.

She has subsequently been interdicted.

Ms Karitu claims she lost the keys after thieves broke into her car in Nairobi and stole her handbag which contained the keys.

According Ms Maina, Ms Karitu claims she had gone to Avenue Hospital in Nairobi and when she returned she found her car had been broken into and her handbag stolen.

“She has been interdicted and efforts have been made with by KNEC to replace the padlock. Everything is under control and there is no cause for alarm,” Ms Maina said.

Standard eight candidates will sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams from October 28 to October 31,2019 while Form 4 candidates will sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams from November 4 to November 27, 2019.

BY NN

READ ALSO:   Stop being petty, Raila tells Kenyan legislators over Mwende Mwinzi standoff
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