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OPINION: Embassy in Washington DC is a let down to needy Kenyans in US

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The cry for help by athletics legend Henry Rono to get help to return home to Kenya from the US won’t be the first or the last. There was also that of Mr Timothy Majanja, a Kenyan who had migrated to Canada and the US over 40 years previously but ended up homeless. He eventually died in poverty in Atlanta.

Both cases were highlighted by the Kenyan media. The response to help for the gentlemen has mostly come from ordinary Kenyans and, in the case of Mr Rono, Athletics Kenya showed willingness to support him. None, if at all, came from Kenya’s consulate where the two men fell under.

The inertia in our foreign missions is the same. There has been hue and cry from diaspora Kenyans about lack of necessary services and support by our diplomats.

DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS

One of the most important roles diplomatic missions play is to offer consular assistance to its citizens in the diaspora. That does not begin and end with issuance of passports and other travel documents. They are also meant to be there for citizens in distress abroad.

The plight of Mr Rono and Mr Majanja is experienced by many Kenyans stuck abroad due to economic hardship. The diaspora community continues to remit to this country billions of shillings yearly.

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This group has become our best export and their continued contribution to the national economy is commendable.

However, their financial success may not always be static and they could fall on hard times. Our missions need to be there for them during these hard times too.

But from the avalanche of complaints from Kenyans in the diaspora, there is very little support for them. Clearly, if those who contribute to the economy so much struggle to access services in our missions, I would imagine unsuccessful Kenyan immigrants abroad will be the last to get any help.

NEPOTISM

The missions have a duty of care to the citizens. A career diplomat would understand basic rules in diplomacy, including duty to the citizens. But they have been accused of incompetence due to their having been turned into dumping grounds for failures at home or conduits for nepotism and cronyism.

The dual nationality question that cropped up during the vetting of nominees for diplomatic posts highlighted the issue of loyalty. Although this is a valid point as far as nominees with dual citizenship are concerned, it is also indicative of the overall character of our foreign missions.

The loyalty of most of those appointed through political patronage is to the appointing individual rather than to Country.

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Appointing non-career diplomats oftentimes just offers individuals and their families a long sightseeing holiday to a foreign country. They add no value to the diplomatic table as they lack the skills and tools required of a bona fide diplomat.

DIPLOMACY

Standard at our missions won’t be improved by training appointees in how to eat with a knife and fork. Diplomacy is not just about eating. Many non-career diplomats from Africa have walked into the haze of diplomatic immunity by breaching laws in their host countries. Taking immunity as cover for all sorts of misdemeanours, they engage in fraud, rape and slavery.

Some unqualified diplomats have even been unable to articulate basic diplomatic issues at press conferences, embarrassing their countries.

Our diplomats should have more roles to play for those in the diaspora than hosting nyama choma and beer festivals on Jamhuri Day. It is fine to make merry but the serious work required of the diplomats is duty to Kenyans. It is also a platform to be used to increase foreign investment.

Our missions are the face of Kenya and ought to be run by experienced career diplomats able to market the country effectively and articulate our foreign policy. They also need to be reduced in size to make them cost-effective. In this Digital Age, it makes no sense to have missions in just about any country.

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Why not have key missions in countries that are strategically important to us in terms of investment and amalgamate the rest into lean consular offices?

FOREIGN POLICIES

Kenya’s success is, equally, dependent on an effective foreign mission that can articulate our foreign policies well with a qualified experienced career diplomat in charge. Dumping non-deserving people there shows lack of seriousness in our foreign policy and is akin to trying to fly without wings!

* * *

The ongoing rush for e-passports should never have happened. It is causing unnecessary anxiety and panic among Kenyans. If the government were serious with their deadline, why did they not provide many more centres to speed it up?

The large crowds outside the few immigration centres pose A security threat too as far as terrorism goes and the queues make a field day for bribe-hungry immigration officers. It is sheer tortious. I hope somebody isn’t sleeping on the job, making Kenyans to pay for their incompetence!

-BY KALTUM GUYO

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Diaspora

Kenyan man deported from the US on arrival at the airport, seeks help to reunite with his Patients

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An online petition to help a Doctor of Kenyan descent who was deported from the United States two weeks ago has been launched.

According to the petition seen by ksnmedia.com,  Dr. Alexander Ondari  was returning to the US to complete his last year as a resident physician at the University of Texas Medical Branch on July 6th, when he was denied entry.

He is now seeking the intervention of the US Embassy in Nairobi. Below is the Petition as prepared by one Georgia Colleluori:

 

On July the 6th, Dr. Alexander Ondari was returning to USA to complete his last year as a resident physician at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. However, he was barred from entering, as the immigration officer at the airport (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) did not honor the valid J1 Visa that he had. Unfortunately, he was deported back to Kenya where he is right now. Currently, all depends on the USA Embassy in Kenya to grant him a new J1 Visa. 

Dr Ondari’s constant efforts as a physician, together with his charitable character, is critical to the well-being of the communities he lives and serves in. Dr Ondari’s objective is to bring value to the US, an aim that has been already accomplished during the last 17 years as a non-immigrant visa holder. It’s is thus a honor to support his efforts to obtain a J1 visa so that he can serve his patients and continue to improve the health of America.

You can sign the Petition by clicking here – change.org/p/us-embassy-in-nairobi

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Diaspora

WATCH LIVE: Francis Muchene’s Memorial Service in Atlanta as burial set for Sat July 27

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Send off plans for Baba Chege (Francis Muchene Chege) are in full gear.
The memorial service is tomorrow Saturday July 20th at 4pm at KACC
771 Elberta Dr,
Marietta, GA. 30066.
The final sendoff is Saturday July 27 at Kennesaw Memorial Park (Atlanta’s Lang’ata) Mariettta , Georgia.

We covet all your prayers.
Asanteni for all the support shown during this difficult time. I am standing on the promises of God. “He shall neither leave us nor forsake us.”
It is well with our souls.

Mr Muchene, who passed away on Monday July 8th after a short illness, was the husband to Christine Muchene (Madam President), Father to Joseph Chege, Dr. Paul Kiarie, Evans Ngamau and Monica Okall.
—————————————

For those asking where to send their donations, please see below:
CashApp # – 678-255-7904
Bank Account – Wells Fargo
A/C # 8716838357
Bank Address – 4309 Claires Brook Lane
Acworth Ga. 30101
Account Name – Francis Muchene Chege Memorial Fund

For more information, please contact:
Elder Kanyari Muthoga – 404-353-6317
Njeri Mungai – 404-435-6534
Pastor Karumba Kiroko – 678-656-8446

 

 

 

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Business

Optiven begins USA Summer Tour 2019 To Empower And Partner With Kenyans

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Optiven USA Tour July 2019: Optiven has embarked on a month-long mission in the USA.
“We are empowering and partner with  Kenyans in the USA to help them create wealth back at home and share investment opportunities in the vibrant real estate market,” says Mr George Wachiuri, the Group’s CEO.
The Team is in the USA this Summer.
If you are in Harrisonburg VA , Richmond VA, Baltimore MD, St Louis  MO, Boston MA, Seattle WA, you have an  opportunity to interact and invest through this award-winning real estate company.

Optiven USA July Tour

Schedule:

Harrisonburg VA for  the KCFA Conference  (July 4th-7th)

Special Title Presentation by Optiven
Time: Full Day

Baltimore MD July 6th– 10th 2019.

 

During the Annual Independence Day
Special  Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:Full Day
Venue: Grace Quarters Rd, Middle Rivers 21220 MD

Richmond, VA July 7th-10th,2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm

 Venue: Embassy Suites   By Hilton 2925 Emerywood Pkwy Richmond VA 23294

St Louis, MO July 12th- 17th, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm
Venue:Best Western Inn St Louis 6224,Heimos Industrial Park Dr, St Louis.

Boston, MA July 19th-24th, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm
Venue: Hyatt Place Boston /Braintree 50 Forbes Rd, Braintree, MA 02184

Seattle, WA July 27th-31st, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Venue:Comfort Inn Federal Way 31622 Pacific  Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Time:4:00pm
Optiven is available for one on one in all stations. All Dinners fully paid by Optiven as you witness the presentation of title deeds.
Contact George or Stephen at +254 713 588 899 or +254 708188671
More details on our website https://www.optiven.co.ke/diaspora/usa2019

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