The Kenya Diaspora Summit in Massachusetts and its Achievements-A colorful event
Posted by Administrator on April 16, 2012
The Kenya Diaspora Summit held over the weekend, organized and managed by Mrs. Comfort Munoru Mwangi of Florida, USA and Mr. Tegi Obanda of Ontario Canada, was a total success for all Kenyans in the Diaspora, it is a pride and an achievement for all Kenyans living abroad.
The wonderful and colorful meeting was attended by among others, Hon. Dr. Richard Onyonka the assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Chairlady IEBC Ms. Lillian Mahiri Zaja, Constitutional Lawyer Njonjo Mue and Dr. Richard Leakey.
For the first time since the adoption of the new constitution, the Deputy Chairlady of the IEBC Ms. Lillian Mahiri Zaja, confirmed to audience who came from all the corners of the USA, that there were no more doubts that Kenyans in the Diaspora will vote during the next elections. She said that the Kenya Government was now working on the modalities to ensure that those goals were achieved. It was a relief to many Kenyans living abroad who were worried they would not participate in the next elections. When she was asked which candidates Kenyans in the Diaspora will be legible to vote for, she said that only the Presidential position will be available for vote in the Diaspora.
In answer to where the voting will take place and who will be involved with the tallying
and counting of the votes, she amused the audience when she said that the Kenya Government will make sure that there will be enough polling stations in the Diaspora for all the Kenyans willing to vote and at the same time the Kenya Government will request all the registered political parties willing to participate in the Diaspora Voting, to send their agents on time to different polling stations in the Diaspora to make sure they witness the voting and the counting of votes during the voting process.
Dr. Richard Onyonka surprised the audience with information that the Kenya Government was contemplating to introduce a new Ministry for Kenyans living abroad. He said that the current remittances of Kenyans in the Diaspora to Kenya, superseded that of three or more ministries combined, and therefore necessitating the formation of the new Ministry. All Kenyans in attended were in agreement and in total support of the new idea.
Dr. Leakey emphasized on the urgent need for the Kenyans in the Diaspora, to shun tribalism so that the Nation of Kenya can benefit politically and economically from the intellect and skills they have already acquired abroad.
What made the meeting even more lively, was the transparency depicted by the team from Kenya. Everyone in the meeting looked jovial and confident. Kenyans had come from as far as Florida, Canada, New Jersey, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Europe and many other areas.
But what disappointed everyone who attended the meeting was the absence of the Kenya Ambassador to the USA or a representative from the Embassy at the summit. Those in attendance challenged the organizers of the Summit to provide an explanation to the audience why the Ambassador was not in the meeting or why there was no representative from the Kenyan Embassy present at the meeting. The organizers explained to the audience that they had written a letter to the Ambassador two months earlier and had also called the office of the Ambassador to inform the office that important Kenyans who included the Assistant Minister and the deputy Chairlady of the IEBC had confirmed their attendance. Unless the Ambassador provides to Kenyans in the Diaspora a convincing reason, why he would not attend the Summit and why he would not send a representative from the Embassy to such an important Summit intended to discuss important issues concerning our Nation, those who attended the Summit will seek for an explanation from the Kenya Government back home why we warrant such a behavior from the Kenya Ambassador. Such behavior may be construed to mean an insult to both the offices of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the IEBC and lack of concern of what affects Kenyans in the Diaspora.
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