Kenya: MPs Say Western Kenya Hasn’t Gained From Handshake


A section of leaders from Western region have said that the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga has not helped the Luhya community.

Led by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, the MPs said people from the region have been reduced to voting machines and later abandoned.

MPs Godfrey Osotsi (nominated), George Aladwa (Makadara) and Naomi Shiyonga (nominated) in particular took issue with ambassadorial appointments, saying people from Western region have been side-lined in major appointments and promotions.

“We also want feel and be part of this government. Let the handshake between President Kenyatta and former Prime Minister help our people,” said Mr Malala Thursday at a press conference at parliament.

DIPLOMATS

The lawmakers accused Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma of frustrating and discriminating diplomats from western region serving at the ministry.

“We will not allow CS Juma to frustrate our people. She was not elected by anyone,” Mr Aladwa said.

The MPs accused Dr Juma of failing to sign a letter late posting the late Yvonne Nambia to India as deputy ambassador by former Foreign CS Amina Mohammed.

“Ms Yvonne would have gotten medical attention in India while serving there. She instead died poor and her kids are now languishing in poverty,” Mr Malala said.

IDLE

They listed a number of diplomats and ambassadors whom they said have been replaced while others have remained idle at the ministry’s headquarters.

They pointed out Kenya’s Ambassador to Burundi Ken Vitisia who was transferred back to the ministry’s headquarters and has not been posted to another station, while Geoffrey Okanga was replaced by Mr Kiema Kilonzo as the ambassador to Uganda last year.

The MPs also listed Simon Nabukwesi who served as ambassador in Canada and was replaced six years ago and has since then been at the ministry’s headquarters while Aggrey Shitsama was fired as ambassador “and never replaced by a Luhya”.

Asked if they have raised their concerns with the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Relations, the MPs said the matter is political and cannot be solved in Parliament.

NO HELP

“We don’t see any help that we can get from the committee. This is a political matter and can only be solved through a meeting with the President,” Mr Malala said.

“Luhya diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have missed out largely on the recent postings and promotions under the leadership of CS Juma. When you look at the recent listing, only two members of the Luhya community were promoted to the position of ambassador but none of them was posted to a station outside Kenya,” Mr Malala said.

“While ambassadors from other communities are enjoying transfers and other privileges from one station to another and getting contract extensions, Luhya ambassadors are being frustrated, humiliated and on numerous occasions have been called back home,” he added.

The MPs said that some of the senior diplomats from Western Kenya who were due for promotion as ambassadors have been left out at the expense of individuals who have served for less than 10 years.

The MPs now want a formal meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the matter.

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Publish date : 2019-05-31 12:30:18

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