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Joy in the Diaspora as Matiang’i extends e-passport deadline

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Kenyans in the Diaspora have taken to social media to thank the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government for extending the deadline for the migration to the new generation chip-enabled passports.

In a statement released on Monday, February 24, the ministry headed by Dr Fred Matiang’i announced that it had extended the deadline by 12 months and set March 1, 2021 as the new compliance date.

“The government is progressively phasing out the old, ordinary passports as part of Kenya’s commitment to migrate to the new passports with ICAO specifications,” said Matiang’i.

“However, we note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometrics e-passports,” he added

“Due to this, the government hereby extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months. As such, its holders may continue using it until March 1, 2021, when it will no longer be valid for traveling,” the Ministry statement read in part.

The statement further noted that the Ministry  had set up six other centers in the diaspora, with three in Europe (Berlin, Paris, and London) and one in the US (Washington DC).

The government has also set up a center in Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai to facilitate the new passport measures.

“Thank you Matiang’i, Wrote John Njoroge.

“Ungekuwa karibu ningekubuiya kiruru,” tweeted Joe Karis.

Wambuijoan wrote: “That is why I love Jubilee Government. Inatupeaga deadline halafu inaongeza, Hata uchaguzi wa 2017 tulifanya twice.”

Before Monday’s announcement, long queues were being witnessed at various embassies, High Commissions and consulates as Kenyans in the Diaspora sought to beat the earlier deadline

The ministry also  announced that in an effort to rationalize the issuance of the e-passports, it has set up and operationalized four passport control centers across the country.

The four centers, they announced, were located in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret, and Embu.

Image
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.

Mr Matiang’i called upon all those who were yet to convert their old passports as earlier urged to take advantage of the new extensions to fulfill the requirements.

“Considering this is the second extension, the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passport are urged to take full advantage of the period to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports as early as possible.

“They should do this to avoid a last-minute rush, unnecessary jam-ups at the centers and traveling inconveniences,” the statement reads.

Matiang’i also  announced thathe government will ensure that  same-day issuance of passports became a reality by July 1, 2020.

Here is the full statement:

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

 

So what is an e-passport?

An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-Passport also contains a biometric identifier.

For instance, the United States requires that the chip contain a digital photograph of the holder.

U.S. e-Passport Requirements

The United States requires that travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006. Additional information on VWP e-Passport requirements.

All e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.

The inspection process for an e-Passport holder is the same as that for a non-e-Passport holder. When arriving at U.S. ports of entry, e-Passport holders will be directed by signage or personnel on the appropriate U.S. Customs and Border Protection booth to use.

Benefits of an e-Passport

E-Passports help to

  • securely identify the traveler,
  • provide protection against identity theft,
  • protect privacy and
  • make it difficult to alter a document for use in gaining admission to the United States.

The biographic and biometric data contained in the electronic chip can be compared to both the traveler and the travel document being presented. There are multiple layers of security in the e-Passport process that prevent duplication.

International Cooperation

The United States and its VWP partners have worked together through extensive testing to identify a technology solution to support the production of e-Passports and e-Passport readers. Successful testing in the United States and overseas has been an important step forward in a larger, comprehensive effort to enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade through international cooperation.


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Diaspora

Kenyan man Patrick Macharia Kooro passes away in Texas, USA

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It is with humble acceptance of God’s will that we announce the promotion to glory of Patrick Macharia Kooro that occurred in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, 11/28/2020 after a short illness.

He was husband to Ruth Kooro (NJ), father to Stephen and Peris Kooro (both of Dallas, TX) and brother to Jane Njuguna (Delaware). The family lived in Union, New Jersey for many years and is in the process of returning to Kenya.

Macharia was a great uncle, grandpa, and friend to many in Kenya, the US and Diaspora at large.

Macharia’s wish and request from the family is to be laid to rest in Kenya. It is our humble request and with humility that we seek your assistance in prayer and financial support so that we can get our departed brother to his final resting place.

Kindly reach out to support and uplift the family.  Financial assistance can be forwarded via CashApp or Zelle:

  • Ruth Kooro: 908-347-7718
  • Jane Njuguna: 302-379-2298

Those in Kenya, use mama Kooro’s MPesa: +254718746275

For more information, please contact:

  • Dr Isaac Kuria: 301-512-8535
  • George Kihanya: 908-764-6111
  • Cyrus Mbatha: 302-540-7720
  • Esther Njuguna: 302-345-3080
  • Benson Muhuthia: 919-345-1402
  • Gichingiri Muchiri: 732-841-5658
  • June Waweru: +254722408622
  • Stephen Mwaura: +254722302301
  • Robert Chutha: +254722864692
  • Dr George Njoroge: +254707181282

Be blessed and thanks immensely for your prayers and support.

2 Tim 4:7: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.


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Enough is Enough: Kenyan man in US relocates to motherland to become a farmer

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In a bold move and which took great courage, a former Kenyan Diaspora man Kunga Kihokia who was born and raised in Miami Florida has moved back to Kenya, bought a 20 acres piece of land and established an organic farm in Murang’a.

Initially, Kunga had planned to be in Kenya for three weeks 5 years ago but after what he says was the realization of the problems affecting Kenyans because of western lifestyle which he himself was struggling with, he felt strongly to start an organic farm to address those problems.

Kunga has built a water tower to use gravity that allows the water to get pumped and distributed  through  irrigation into the field. Everything in the farm is powered by solar energy and he has dug a borehole that supplies enough water for the farm. Watch the video, be inspired  and enjoy.

Source: Diasporamessenger.com


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Diaspora

VIDEO: Kenyans in Diaspora reject BBI report, referendum

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A lobby for Kenyans  in the diaspora is urging voters to reject the  Building Bridges Initiative report in the  referendum being championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

According to Commonwealth Voter Privileges Right Association (COVPRA) the report is being imposed on Kenyans after the views of  certain groups and  elected leaders views were rejected..

Uhuru and Raila have rejected amendments to the final report saying those opposing it had time to give their views to the fourteen member committee they appointment.

 

The lobby avers that the recommendations in the final report do not represent the position of all Kenyans and a contested referendum would divide Kenyans.

“Kenyans should reject the BBI report. It is two man initiative that is being imposed on the people. The clergy have rejected it, several groups have rejected it. It’s not a Wanjiku Initiative. A few people and their surrogates want to change the Constitution for their personal gain,” Mr David Kimengere Waititu, the association’s Organising secretary told the Nation.

“It would have been  necessary to allow debate on all the issues that  arose in the final report  before coming  up with a bill. Kenyans are being taken for a ride,”  he said.

In June the group petitioned the committee  led by Garissa senator Yusuf Hajji to allow views from all dissenting voices saying all Kenyans should be allowed to participate.

“Freedom to Assembly, Freedom of expression and Freedom to political participation are so important in a  process like this one. It would be a sham  if the BBI Team was to ignore the views of some Kenyans. During the  meetings to sensitize the public on the initiative,” Kimengere said.

Leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto and civil society are opposed to some of the proposals in the final report.

The group says a contested referendum would leave the country divided.

“We do not want a process that would leave Kenyans more divided. Let all Kenyans reject this report in a referendum to save their country from a few people who think they own Kenya.  We in Covpra, have our motherland at heart,” he said.

 Covpra said that the future of Kenya lies in the hands of the hollo polloi and not it’s leaders.

“ We call upon the Kenyans poor not to buy to the schemes of the dynasties. Let us protect our country by rejecting this monster called BBI if it goes to the referendum.

The group said in a statement that Kenyans should reject plots by politician to engage in chaos.

“At the end, this might result to   a badly contested referendum and  create a poisoned society ahead of the 2022 general elections. Let’s refuse any incitement to violence and stand up against the dynasties to shape the future of Kenya,” he says.

In their June petition, the group cited the strained relations between the Executive and the Judiciary and the fall out in the ruling Jubilee party over the process as a matter of concern.

“Our position stands that there is no proposal  to fix the simmering tensions between the two arms of government and between the two leaders of the Executive,” Mr Kimengere stated.

-nation.co.ke


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