Kenyans Abroad To Get Cabinet Representation
Kenyans in the diaspora will be represented at the Cabinet level in the next government, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.
The VP also said his campaign team, together with partners in the PNU Alliance, would open a coordinating office for diaspora voters in South Africa soon. The office will also coordinate campaigns in the region.
Mr Musyoka told Kenyans working and living in South Africa that the government would like them to come back home as job creators and not as job seekers.
“We will create an enabling environment for you to come and invest in the expansion of the economy,” Mr Musyoka said at a meeting with the Kenyans at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg. There are 50,000 Kenyans living and working in South Africa.
“Let your vote count this year. It’s the year of the defining moment for our country,” he added. He urged the Kenyans gathered to support his bid for the presidency.
“Walk with me on this journey and I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Some ask what does he stand for?
“I’m a social democrat who is interested in expanding the economy to create jobs, banish hunger out of Kenya and lead a cohesive and harmonious nation,” Mr Musyoka said.
“I’ve seen the pitfalls and excesses of our past and that’s what I seek to correct.”
Listen to issues
The chairman of the Kenyans in South Africa organisation said it was encouraging that the VP was willing to share a meal with Kenyans in the diaspora and listen to issues close to their hearts.
Student leader Kendi Mwabila said Kenyans living abroad were interested in supporting leaders who would help create jobs and deliver services in critical areas like education and health.
Mr Rottok Chesaina, the managing director of Expatriate magazine, told the VP that professionals working abroad are keen to make their contribution towards the realisation of Vision 2030 by providing solutions in IT and infrastructure.
Mr Musyoka was also in South Africa to represent President Kibaki at the country’s ruling party Africa National Congress (ANC) centenary celebrations in Johannesburg.
According to a dispatch by his press service, the VP said all efforts were being made to ensure Kenyans living abroad are fully engaged in the political process and that his campaign would open two more offices abroad.
In November last year, his team opened a campaign coordination office in London to cater for the Kenyan diaspora across Europe. The London office is headed by Mr Frank Karanja.
“We will open more party campaign offices in United States and Asia to get as many Kenyans as possible involved in deciding the destiny of their country,” the VP said.
The South Africa tour marked the end of a busy campaign week for the VP.
On Monday, he hosted several cultural leaders and MPs from across the country at his Yatta ranch in Machakos county where he unveiled his core presidential campaign team.
Three former advisors and close aides of President Kibaki – Mr Stanley Murage, Prof Kivutha Kibwana and Mr Raphael Tuju – also attended the luncheon.
Mr Murage, who declined to discuss his involvement in VP’s campaigns, was until last year a powerful State House operative advising the President on strategy and policy matters.
Prof Kibwana, a former minister and aspirant for governor in Makueni County, is still advising the President on constitutional matters.
Mr Tuju, himself a presidential aspirant, was President Kibaki’s advisor on ethnic relations and national cohesion.
Share a lot
“I have suffered a lot for my support for President Kibaki and we share a lot in common with Mr Musyoka and his colleagues in the PNU Alliance,” Mr Tuju said, adding he will work with the leaders in the alliance as long as they are ready for political competition.
Saying the luncheon was to celebrate their friendship and plan for the journey ahead, Mr Musyoka thanked the delegation for supporting him in politics and in the four years he has served as VP under President Kibaki. The VP’s campaign advisory group, which includes top scholars, lawyers and political scientists, will be headed by long-serving diplomat Mutuma Kathurima.
“I’ve tasked this team to fashion my campaigns in the spirit of the new Constitution besides exploring on the possible running mates,” Mr Musyoka said.