VIDEO: Kenyans abroad split on Uhuru’s passport order
GOODNEWS UHURU ORDERS THAT NEW GENERATION PASSPORTS BE ISSUED IN ALL COUNTRIES!!!
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to government agencies to ensure that Kenyans in the diaspora get their new-generation passports in their countries of residence has elicited mixed reactions.
Addressing Kenyans in Windhoek, Namibia, on Thursday evening, President Kenyatta directed relevant government agencies to develop mechanisms of ensuring that Kenyans get the passports in their countries of residence.
The President said that there was no reason Kenyans living outside the country should incur huge financial costs to travel back home to acquire the new passports.
“Form a team that will go from country to country to register Kenyans in the diaspora. No Kenyan should be forced to spend money to travel to Kenya to get passports,” he said.
“I haven’t attempted to change my passport abroad. It would, however, be great if this could be done in Dubai. From what I have heard, when Kenyans go to the consulate here they’re directed to do it in Kenya as it would be quicker. So I haven’t bothered doing it here,” said a Kenyan living in Dubai, who sought anonymity.
“As far as I know, the system is not operational at the Paris embassy, at least the last time I asked which was mid last year. They were all confused and couldn’t give specific details on when the system would be up and running. I gave up,” said Seline Adega from France.
“The incompetence, coupled with the fact that you talk to people who do not seem to master their job scope, is extremely draining. I am not sure I will be renewing the Kenyan passport soon, there is only so much stress I can handle on what is supposed to be a straightforward and transparent process,” she added.
Another Kenyan, who identified himself only as T.A. and is based in Minnesota, US, dismissed the President’s directive outright.
“I’d rather apply for citizenship and use an American passport. The embassy in Washington, DC, is far away and very inefficient and if that’s quotable use my initials.”
“For me particularly, my passport had expired before the 2010 Constitution, and I wasn’t able to renew it at the time because it required that I travel to Kenya to get it renewed. But around 2015, the embassy here allowed us to apply locally and wait for about eight weeks,” complained Mr James Sang’ from Washington DC.
“Four years later, I am still waiting. There are several hundreds of Kenyans here in the same dilemma. If they can resolve the issue of reinstatement first, then passport issuance to Kenyans abroad is a welcome thing. Imagine having to wait for that long!!” he went on.
Ngamau Kagundu from Pennsylvania, US also cast aspersions at the directive, saying Kenyans living abroad had also been promised that they would vote in general elections but it did not materialise.
Mr Kenyatta was responding to requests by Kenyans who spoke at the Windhoek meeting and raised concerns over the difficulties those living outside the country undergo to acquire the new document.
Among the speakers at the forum were Prof Peter Nyarango, the Dean of the Medical School of the University of Namibia and businessman Peter Wamburi.
Prof Nyarango said Kenya’s education system should be geared towards empowering the youth to be employable in a changing world. He said Kenya is projected to have a population of 100 million by 2050 out of which 65 million will be youth aged below 25 years.
He said the guiding factor in Kenya’s education system should be to capitalise on Kenya’s edge in innovation and research.
In his response President Kenyatta said, “My government has embarked on making changes on the curriculum to meet the emerging market needs”.
Mr Kenyatta added that even though there are challenges in the implementation of the new curriculum, his administration will not be deterred from its full implementation as it will equip Kenyan children with skills and knowledge that will shape their future better.
The business fraternity represented by Peter Wamburi acknowledged that Namibia treats Kenyan professionals, business people and the diaspora in general like brothers and sisters. They credited the good treatment to the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two nations.
President Kenyatta assured nurses who are returning to Kenya from Namibia after the end of their contracts that they will get their jobs back when they get back home.
On the ongoing sustained war against graft, President Kenyatta assured Kenyans in the diaspora that the crackdown will continue and that every effort will be made in bringing back integrity to the public service.
He said Kenya has great potential but there was need to change practices that hinder the country from achieving progress adding that corruption is a vice that all Kenyans must unite to fight if the country has to progress.
“If you are corrupt we will fight you. You can be my brother or my sister or my closest political ally but if you are corrupt we will fight you,” said the President.
The President said he won’t be clouded by ethnicity or status in his quest to leave behind a united nation and assured that he will continue championing the unity of the nation as he urged Kenyans to shun tribalism.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to Namibia Benjamin Lang’at said Kenyans living in Namibia are productive and active in supporting the development of both Kenya and their host country.