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From Senator to ‘terrorist’, my experience in US

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It is Wednesday September 25, 2019, and I am rushing to take my seat at a Kenyan side event on peace, organised by our permanent mission in New York and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was during the United Nations General Assembly meeting. I get into the building and check in at security.Then I am told to step aside and kept waiting for more than 30 minutes.

The Secret Service agents ask for my ID. By this time, they have picked my entry card. I give them my national ID and National Hospital Insurance Fund cards.

They tell me that they are looking for someone who fits my description. I ask them why they are questioning me. They say there is someone who looks like me and who is walking around with “a screw driver”.

By this time, I feel profiled and discriminated against on basis of both albinism and race. I wonder loudly that this cannot be happening at the UN headquarters, the home of universal Bill of Rights. By now, they are embarrassed.

I offer to leave but they refuse to let me go.The white men now call a black guy who helps to calm the situation. He takes me to his office in some basement and introduces himself to me as Eric.

He is Eric Bramwell, lieutenant officer in charge of the investigative unit, security and safety service. He offers to take me to my next assignment-listening to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s address to the UN General Assembly.

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Access card

I do not have my access card still and Eric calls to ask if anyone was left with it. Then all of a sudden, and out of the blues, he fishes it out of his pocket in a rather embarrassing manner.

He takes me to the General Assembly hall, but I opt to first get to the Kenyan side event, after bumping on Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

This seems to give Eric some validity about my identity.Soon after, I join my parliamentary colleagues briefly, before we are ushered in to the GA plenary hall.

As I get in, some fellow Kenyans rush to say hello. I am, however, pulled aside by Eric, who now refers to me as Senator.

He is in the company of Kevin O Hanlon, the head of security at the UN complex, and who has come to apologise to me in person. He explains that it was not his team that did it but rather the secret service agents.

As the President is delivering his address, Kenya’s Ambassador to the UN, Lazarus Amayo, walks up to me and informs me that he has received an apology from the UN about what had happened.

About an hour later, at the entrance of Hotel Latte, which is the venue of our meeting with the President, my other colleagues are ushered in while I get questioned.

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A secret service agent takes my card, again, while others start to secretly take my photos on their mobile phones.

My colleagues are forced to explain, again, that I am a senator from Kenya.

This is after one of the agents loudly asks “who is this guy?” As if that is not enough, another one follows us up into the lift, staring at me suspiciously.

When the President finally comes in, he jokingly asks me if I am Al Shabaab, Mujahedin or the Chairman of the National Riffles Association (NRA). We let the matter lie.

The following day I want to access my hotel along 51st street and as is the practice, I give my UN accreditation card at a designated checkpoint. I am, again, stopped from entry and told to step aside as others get in!At this juncture, I can’t take it anymore and I remind the secret service agent that he is himself a person of colour.

I state that I am a Senator from Kenya and he rudely asks me if I am a US senator. Anyway, I’m finally allowed to pass after a State House official finds me at the entrance and explains to the security agents that I am a senator from Kenya.

I try asking the secret service agents, this time two women who have come to talk to me, to show me the photo of the person they are looking for, but they do not have one!

READ ALSO:   Senator Mwaura narrates his troubles with Secret Service agents in New York

To them, it is just someone with albinism, whose description I fit into and who allegedly keeps on following some unknown king in order to harm him with a screw driver.

Later on, I come to learn that it is not only me. Dr Omotayo, who has albinism, is an ambassador of the Wazobia people from Nigeria. He, too, has been stopped many times as he seeks to access both his hotel and the UN premises, to the point that his entourage becomes embarrassed.

Western movies

You know a good number of western movies cast persons with albinism as pale white skinned, red eyed villains, who possess some kind of supernatural powers.

So in the sub-conscience of these white secret service agents, I am a typical representation of such a villain!!

Now how does that differ with those witch-doctors in many African countries that believe that our body parts possess some magical powers, leading to loss of lives?

Indeed, such acts of officialdom by agents of the State bring to the fore the systemic discrimination within the American and other bureaucracies that act as barriers to the inclusion of persons with albinism.”  

[The writer is a Nominated Senator and chairman of the Albinism Society of Kenya. @mwauraIsaac1 mwaura.isa@gmail.com]

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Court suspends Mary Wambui’s appointment as Employment Authority boss

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Not so fast, the employment court has told politician Mary Wambui in her quest to take the job at the National Employment Authority.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa issued the order in Nairobi on Wednesday in a case filed by the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association.

In the case championed by the association’s chairman-cum-Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, the petitioners argue that Ms Wambui is not qualified under the law, policy and best practice, to be the chairperson of the authority.

NOT CONFORM

Ms Wambui, Mr Sakaja’s team argues, does not conform to the provisions of Section 10 (2)(c) of the National Employment Authority Act and does not meet the threshold of having at least seven years’ experience in human resource management or its equivalent.

The qualifications of the chairperson of the authority, they say, are mandatory and not discretionary.
The association says Ms Wambui has on several occasions personally admitted that she possesses a limited education, which for all intents and purposes makes her unqualified and unsuitable to conduct the affairs of the chairperson.

The petitioners argue that her appointment would disfranchise the Kenyan taxpayer given the very strategic nature of the position.

“The directive of appointing the 3rd respondent, who is not qualified is not only retrogressive, arbitrary and stale, but also attempts to uncharacteristically undermine the principles of public participation and guiding principles of leadership and integrity,” the petition reads.

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Justice Wasilwa certified the case as urgent and set the hearing for November 14.

-Nairobinews

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Entertainment

‘My addiction with strippers left me in debts worth millions,’ Robert Burale

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Robert Burale has in the past been in debts running into millions but he managed to come out of it unlike most Kenyans who are still struggling.

In a past interview with K24 Faraja, Burale stated that his addiction to stripping and the pressure to keep up a facade of a flashy lifestyle pushed him into debts.

I used to live with both my parents during primary and secondary school but at some point they separated.

Life was good as we were living a high end life before I went to study marketing in London.

I enjoyed going to a new country and the freedom that came with it.

Robert Burale

Little did Burale know that some types of friends can either make or break you.

When I went there I made both good and bad friends.

I was lucky because everything was being paid for by my dad for during my first year so I had a lot of free time.

I started going to strip clubs while in London with the friends I had made.

He adds,

As an African man living abroad, every one wants you, so the attention started making us do things we would not consider doing before.

We started hoping from one strip club to the other.

At some point we got bored with strip clubs in our area and we started venturing to other areas.

He adds,

STRIP GIRLS ARE TAUGHT HOW TO MILK YOU DRY.

WHEN THEY SEE YOU HAVE MONEY, THEY WILL MILK ALL OF IT. WHEN YOU DON’T CHUCK OUT MONEY THEY WILL MAKE SURE YOU GIVE THEM SOME.
EVEN IF IT MEANS REMOVING THEIR BRA.

Burale adds it took time for him to accept his addiction.

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It took time for me to know I am addicted. For three years I was just in strip club evangelism where we ‘recruit’ other people into the club.

When I came back to Kenya I found so many strip clubs had been opened and so I started going to savor their services.

Pastor Burale
Robert Burale’s book ‘From the strip club to the pulpit’

He adds

The problem was that when I was in London there was money but once I came back I had no money as my dad had passed away.

The family started fighting for what he had.

In a past interview with Radio Jambo, his ex wife Rozinah Mwakideu, had stated that one of the many reasons they broke up is the many debts he had.

I would receive calls now and then from people and police saying Robert had unsettled debts.

It was a character he had and I kept waiting because I thought he would change because he was born-again.

For example, the main reason why I left was after my friend came to visit me and after she left she wanted to sue him. I couldn’t handle that pressure plus other personal issues.

Robert Burale and ex-wife
Robert Burale and ex-wife Rozinah

Burale explains that his addiction to stripping was where his journey to debts began.

There is no strip club where a woman will give you a show with no money.

There are men who spend even 100,000 on a night.

I once did that and the sad thing is that it was borrowed money.

He adds,

I had to keep up a reputation. I had to go to big hotels and dress well so I kept borrowing.

With time my debts ran into millions.

It got so bad that I had to borrow *John to pay *Peter and the cycle continued.

I only accepted I had a problem after I tried committing suicide.

Burale is now out of debt and this he did by paying off debts slowly with the money he got from his jobs as a motivational speaker, actor and Image consultant.

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His advice to people out there is

If you are broke accept it. Ask for help

By Mpasho

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News

Kenyan teen goes missing in Germany after quarreling with her parents

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Police in Potsdam, Germany are looking for a Kenyan teen who went missing a week ago from her home after quarreling with her parents

The 15-year-old only identified as Britney, has been missing since Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

Mkenya Ujerumani, a local blog about Kenyans in Germany reports that the teen had a quarrel with her parents before she left their home in Drewitz in Potsdam.

At the time she is reported to have said she was going visit some acquaintances but never showed up nor returned home.

Her parents are worried since this is the first time Britney has been away from home for such a long time.

A day after she disappeared, a passerby walking by the banks of River Havel came across a bag with Britney’s personal belongings, identification and some clothes.

POLICE SEARCH

Upon reporting to the police, divers, a helicopter, a drone and search dogs from the coast guard were dispatched for a search operation in the river but nothing was found.

Police printed posters that were placed around all the major train stations in Potsdam but none of the four received clues brought them closer to finding the girl.

“The investigation team consists of ten police officers and will be headed by Commissioner Falk Heidke, who has substantial experience in the search of missing children and teenagers,” the spokeswoman for the Police Department West said on Friday.

READ ALSO:   Senator Mwaura narrates his troubles with Secret Service agents in New York

Britney moved to Germany from Kenya with her mother and her younger brother about two and a half years ago. She attends a Gesamtschule in Potsdam.

By Nairobi News

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