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Lobby for special Diaspora seat, Kalonzo urges Kenyans abroad

BUSINESS
By | Nov 14th 2011 | 2 min read
By | November 14th 2011
BUSINESS

By Joseph Ngugi in London

The Kenyan Diaspora should be represented in parliament as recognition of their contribution towards the country’s economy, Vice President, Kalonzo Musyoka has proposed.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. Photo: File/Standard

Addressing Kenyans in East London in the UK on Sunday night, Mr Musyoka urged Kenyans wherever they are in the Diaspora to lobby their MPs in changing the law so that a provision of a special Diaspora seat could be created to accommodate those living away from home into local leadership and politics.

"The Diaspora remits a huge amount of money to Kenya’s economy every year and your participation in national building in this particular way should be recognised," the Vice-President said amidst thunderous applause.

He said that the foreign exchange remittance by the Diaspora increased by 27 per cent from $350.9million to $475million. In the month of October alone, Kenyans living abroad remitted Ksh 8.8billion, which was more than an annual budget for most government ministries.

He said that the duo-citizenship provision in the new constitution should assure Kenyans that they still have a role to play in the development of Kenya.

He said that he was ready to work with the Diaspora in ensuring that their interests in Kenya were recognised.

He was accompanied by the Minister for Special Programmes, Esther Murugi, Assistant Ministers, Kabando wa Kabando, Ephraim Maina, Asman Kamama, and the Government Chief Whip, Johnstone Muthama as well as the Permanent Secretary in the office of the Home Affairs, Dr Ludeki Chweya.

Mr Maina said that he supported either the presidency of Musyoka, George Saitoti or Uhuru Kenyatta, saying they were the most experienced.

Mr Kabando said that it would be wrong for some elderly politicians from Central province to purport that they speak for the whole community especially on the issue of whom to support in the next presidential elections.

Musyoka’s meeting with Kenyans abroad comes at a time when the Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s supporters announced a major campaign network in Kenya, America and Europe aimed at targeting the 3.4 million potential voters from the Diaspora.

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