Outcomes and Recommendations:Diaspora for change Consultative Meeting

On 16th December, 2011, the “Diaspora for Change” pressure group convened a Consultative Meeting which brought together a team comprising of Kenya Citizens in the Diaspora and media experts. The objective of the Consultative Meeting was to discuss the prohibitive and discriminatory clauses in the new constitution and related laws that breach fundamental rights for Kenyans in the Diaspora.

1.1       Core Objectives
The main purpose of the meeting was to: 
1.      Provide a formal forum for Kenyans living in the Diaspora where we can strategize on the amendment of the dual citizenship clause in the new constitution stating thus;
“Article 99 (2) (c ): A person is disqualified from being elected a member of parliament if the person has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the ten years immediately preceding the date of election. Article 137 (2) (a): A person is not qualified for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person owes allegiance to a foreign state. Article 193 (2): A person is disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the person has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the 10 years immediately proceeding the date of the election
Under article 255 provisions, qualifications of state officers is NOT an issue requiring a referendum for its constitutional amendment. Such amendments can be made by either parliamentary or popular initiatives under the provisions or articles 256 and 257 respectively.”
1.2       Expectations
It was the expectation of that this Consultative Meeting would generate the following, among others:
1.      Clearly articulate the numbers of Kenyans in the Diaspora.   This will allow us to identify the audience and the beneficiaries of this amendment.
2.      Provide inputs that would assist us to reach sympathizers with the aim of creating awareness.
3.      Find a clear approach to engage key Government Officials
1.3       Discussion
The ensuing discussion consisted of the following:
        i.            Those dual citizens be allowed to contest for any positions just as they are allowed to vote and we have direct representation in parliament and at the senate. 
      ii.            That an accurate census of the Kenyans in the Diaspora be carried out immediately and be made public
    iii.            That civic, voter education and sensitization be carried out to all Kenyans in the Diaspora in a timely manner.
    iv.            That neutral and competent personnel be hired through an open and competitive process to supervise the polls. We totally oppose the use of politicians and their proteges in the names of ambassadors as electoral officials.
      v.            That we embrace modern technology like electronic voting to solve this puzzle.
    vi.            That we take polling centers close to the people.
III.       The major conclusions and recommendations generated by the Meeting are as
        i.            First and important conclusion was that the pressure group release a press statement highlighting key demands to raise political visibility “No elective Diaspora office, no vote”.
      ii.            The Meeting recommended that we use social media (face book, tweeter, YouTube) etc, and churches to mobilize Kenyans.
E-mail Address
Dr. Joe Mwangi Symmon
Maina Kanyora
Nahashon Ombati3223
George Nyakundi
John Mayaka
William Maranga
Laneck Ogino
Lawrence Maina
Dorothy Mwangi


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