Kenya Govt ignoring diaspora while wasting millions on useless seminars
Kenyan Government sudden focus on Diaspora is a way of slowly brainwashing people so that they can ignore and temporary forget the very basic needs that ought to be addressed urgently.
The Kenyan government is constantly spending millions of shillings to sponsor useless Governors seminars and investment meetings and yet they cannot decentralize and bring without delay e-passports equipment to the Embassy.
All high powered investments meeting held all over United States do not address the very basic issues affecting thousands of people in the Diaspora.
Many Kenyans who are not American citizens, do not have travel documents due to long delays in processing the same after expiration.
Passports renewals are taking four to eight months to be processed not only in America but in most Diaspora Embassies across the world.
The same Embassies used to issue ID and passports direct from all consular centers but it’s not the case today as all have to be sent to Nairobi for processing leading to long delays.
We all welcomed the Government initiative for the direct KQ flight and hoped that the same would even bring the e-passports equipments but all we saw were Kenyan celebrities and senior Government officials full of smiles while narrating their “Ugali served” flight experiences.
The Government should be pressured to act and implement without delay e-passoprt Diaspora centers as December is approaching and many Kenyans will not be in a position to travel.
We have also being made aware that passports will only be issued from two consular centers that is L.A. and D.C.
If that is the case to get a passport, it will cost each Kenyan a minimum of $750 (travel, accommodation and time wasted) to obtain the same without including the cost of the passport which is $120 and hence in total (Ksh. 87,000)
Total amount incurred by people in America alone applying e-passports will be in excess of Ksh, 87 billion assuming 100,000 living in USA. ( Number can be even higher)
Just think of the amount involved and you will conclude that Diaspora in USA alone can buy off a whole airline like Kenya airways and be left with enough money to put up a fully fledged hospital like Kenyatta National Hospital.
The Kenyan Ambassador has been trying to partner with Kenyan Parents in USA organization to reduce that cost but a few disgruntled elements disrupted the initiative and instead tarnished his name and eventually making the same to be discontinued.
(Kenya Parents in USA organized a successful ID and passport event in Marietta GA on July 21 and 22, 2018 where over 250 people were processed)
We are told that the equipments will arrive by December but if the same e-passports are not issued on the spot in DC, it will take a long time to process and hence many families will not be in a position to travel for holidays.
We must also not forget the fact that all regular passports will expire next year in September and therefore you can imagine over 100,000 Kenyans in USA desperately making trips to DC or LA. to be processed and worse still not even able to go home with it.
We in the Diaspora need to pressure the Government to make it possible to obtain the documents in centers to be located in all State capital.
The initiative by Kenyan Parents in USA organization can also continue in order to reduce the cost or else the Government should establish convenient issuing centers in the capitals of each State.
If obtaining Kenyans documents will be complicated, we will lose the Kenyan connection as those who have already or will continue to become American Citizens will not bother to get dual citizenship but would rather use the American passport to enter Kenya by paying entry visa of $50.
We may not dwell on each and every other basic issues affecting people in the Diaspora but I will just scantly mention a few
Health is something affecting many people in Diaspora and that is why WhatsApp group in USA are constantly having endless posts on assisting those in dire need.
We need to shelve immediately the Diaspora remittances and focus on our own health. Diaspora people can for example concentrate on forming an insurance program controlled right here in America.
(Kenyan Government need also to invest in the Diaspora to assist its citizen from within by helping them to start a Kenyan bank, Sacco, Insurance, etc)
It’s not the case and out of desperation many Kenyans are busy joining Sacco societies back in Kenya to buy a house, and then compromise on health by working three jobs or more.
We need in all fairness to go slow not to be involved in flimsy avoidable accidents that mostly happen while taking a nap at that red light.
We have many cases of breakdown and all due to denial of the very basic and mandatory thing “sleep” ….why?, …to send money back home either to a relative or to your Sacco to maintain that monthly Mortgage plan.
I have not also mentioned other irrelevant issues like trying to vote back home and yet we have many problems like drugs, suicides, mental illness that we need to address here first.
DIASPORA UPDATE ON KENYAN ID/PASSPORT/E-PASSPORT by USA BALOZI GITHAE IN NEW YORK
Tell me any Kenyan Senior Government official that have called people in the Diaspora to advise them on how they can do self sustaining business right here in America.
All of them are talking of remittances and yet the same are generated right here by people in the Diaspora and they are not even bothered to know how the same is obtained.
Is there a Kenyan bank or banks helping people in the Diaspora to start businesses right here in USA?
If there is any, I stand to be corrected but I have not heard or come across any for all I hear or see is large Diaspora groups being assisted by Kenyan banks to buy useless properties in some remote parts of Kenya.
We in the Diaspora should not justify the fact that “the green card lottery” is slavery brought back through the back door for it will be the case if we divert our attention and get trapped by the Kenyan Government slow introduction of double taxation.
I say double taxation as the money you are sending to those Diaspora Sacco in Kenya is controlled by the Ministry of Cooperatives and eventually it will be taxed.
You will eventually own a property yes and throughout your remaining years in America your remittances to the same in total does not justify profitable returns on investment for by the time you finish paying the same, it will appear like a slum due to locality.
We are simply being diverted not to think of our very basic needs but to help the government and other crafty Kenyan investors in housing to make extra money from our hard earned already taxed labor proceeds.
Yes they are slowly tapping it by further exorbitantly charging documents which can be cheaply printed and issued right here in America.
They are tapping it through remittances and not reciprocating by making travel documents cheaper to people in the Diaspora or devise methods of obtaining low interest Government loans to people in the Diaspora.
In the end, “death of a Kenyan in the Diaspora” and when that happens “you are on your own” and yet the same Government that needed your remittances badly will not assist relatives in costly transportation of the body back home (even with the direct flight in place)
I can go on and on but this may not be the appropriate forum as it’s full of victims of the things I talked about and a few may not like to change the status quo.
In conclusion like I always say think of your retirement in a place where no landlord or Government agent will knock at your door.
Life well lived is not always thinking of how to complete that mortgage or to buy a plot in a remote part of Kenya, but how to provide the very basic needs to your children.
In the meantime let us all pressure the government just like my group is doing to bring without delay e-passports equipment and have passports and ID centers in all States.
Yes it’s possible!
Once you read all the frustrations many Kenyans are undergoing, you will entirely agree with me that Diaspora affairs established and managed by Dennis is not in a position to tackle all the mentioned challenges and we demand a full Ministry to do it.
A ministry headed by someone who has lived in the Diaspora and is conversant with the many challenges faced by Kenyans in the Diaspora.
In short it’s just as Martin Luther put it “The fierce urgency of now”
May what you read don’t go beyond your conscience and also remember that am no Mark Twain writing a masterpiece but rather emotional passionate outburst of the urgent basic needs that need to be addressed like yesterday.
Also like one Joe Kariuki put it “ The purpose is to express frustration with what is known to be going on… meaning …no new evidence is necessary.”
“All the same just like Plato said “simpletons will rush to conclusion instead of advancing a theory”.
They will comment to be recognized but not necessarily to help solve the crisis but rather to worsen it just like a few recently did in Kansas City with only one ill intended motive…spoiling the initiative of our hard working Ambassador.
We need actions or what have you?
We fail because we do not try!
Kenyan Parents in USA.