Open letter by WAMOTHER STEPHEN N KINUTHIA
Mr. Denis Itumbi,As the Secretary of Innovation, Director Digital Communication and Diaspora Affairs in the Office of the President of the Republic of Kenya, what’s your take on Miguna Miguna homecoming saga?You have been missing in action on issues affecting the Diaspora. You never said anything when our fellow Kenyans continue to be treated like slaves in Arab countries; and or when one of our own Ms Mwende Mwinzi – Kenya’s ambassador-nominee to South Korea had issues on Dual citizenship.
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What happened to the brilliant ideas on your letter dated July 26, 2013? Are you still the Advisor to the President on Diaspora Affairs or not?The Diaspora community feels neglected and abandoned, neither you nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seem to know what the diaspora community is going through especially our brothers and sisters in the Arab countries. Neither you nor the Ministry ever recognize the de facto / de jure diaspora leaders.Diaspora community have been locked out of the electoral process in Kenya, no representation in the Government…
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Diaspora contribute heavily towards the economy, yet the government does not want us to participate fully in the political process.Is the government only interested in our remittances, and contribution to our economy? – We have been taken for granted.In 12 months to June 2019, the Kenya diaspora community remittance hit a new record high of Sh285. 5 billion – representing a 13.6-per cent growth while Tourism earned only Sh163.6 billion in 2019 from Sh157.4 billion recorded in 2018.Remittances in Kenya are now the biggest source of foreign exchange, ahead of tourism, tea, coffee and horticulture exports. Most of the remittances came from the United States, Europe and Middle East. Uganda is the third biggest source of remittances to Kenya with an estimated Sh19 billion flowing into Kenya in 2018 from Uganda.
Mr. Itumbi, Kenya is neither a monarchy nor a dictatorship. Why continue begging for Diaspora Constitutional Rights? We aren’t asking you for any favour! – The right to vote, representation, justice and democracy are inalienable and must prevail.Is His Excellency the President aware or informed what the Diaspora community is going through, that they are not happy since their grievances haven’t been looked at?I don’t really expect any response for you, but to see actions. Talk the talk!
YoursStephen N. Kinuthia