KALONZO LEFT FRUSTRATED AFTER LONG WAIT AT BRITISH VISA AGENCY

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Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka spent the better part of Thursday going through the tedious process of applying for a Visa to either the United Kingdom or Australia.

Mr Musyoka who was Vice President – hence a VVIP – in the Grand Coalition government under President Mwai Kibaki was seen at the 9-West building in Westlands where immigration firm VFS Global handles visa applications for British and Australian visa applicants.

Though it wasn’t clear which country he intends to visit, the process of getting the visa evidently frustrated him. A Daily Nation reporter said the former VP spent almost three hours at the Centre at 9 West building in Westlands.

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The British, Australians and South African governments recently hired the firm to take in visa applications for them in what they all argued would make the process efficient.

Accompanied by a guide, Mr Musyoka kept moving back and forth, logging into computers at the self-service area and, at times, stepping out to make calls.

He looked tired and frustrated as applicants who came after him completed the process and left.

DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT

Reached for comment, Kalonzo’s aide Dennis Kavisu said the ex-VP was there as part of “normal” procedure to have his biometric data taken.

According to the official UK visa policy, all passport holders – both diplomatic and ordinary – travelling on private missions must physically provide bio data at visa centre.

Priority service is extended to diplomatic passport holders only when they are travelling on official duty. The gesture is provided at British High Commission.

Both Britain and Australia allow certain privileges for visa applicants holding diplomatic passports, such favours can be granted if the government vouches for an applicant. It was not clear if Mr Musyoka had sought this endorsement.

Mr Musyoka has a diplomatic passport, owing to his previous senior government positions he held. He was Foreign Affairs Minister in former President Daniel Arap Moi’s government and was initially involved in negotiations to create South Sudan.

During the Kibaki era, the former VP was also Minister for Home Affairs. At one time, Kibaki assigned him to travel around the continent lobbying for the African Union to rally against International Criminal Court cases facing six Kenyans at the time. For this, his travels were branded shuttle diplomacy.

-nairobinews.co.ke

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