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  • Writer's pictureOrina Ontiri

Kenyan Ambassador to US defends Embassy conduct, talks Diaspora issues in Dallas

Kenya’s ambassador to the US has dismissed allegations that embassy staff in Washington DC were inefficient, rude and unprofessional.

Ms Jean Kamau was responding to reports in the Kenyan media that the embassy ignored calls.

There have also been concerns on under- staffing and inadequate resources to cater for Kenyans in the US.

Ms Kamau, who spoke to the Nation in Dallas, denied the reports. She said Kenyans were treated well whether living in the diaspora or as visitors who wanted to travel to our motherland.

The envoy said the embassy staff were equipped to process the large number of applications and queries they received.

She said there was a channel to direct complaints on their website.

Ms Kamau asked Kenyans to lodge formal complaints with the embassy “so that there is proper follow-up on any issues they may encounter.”

She said that the embassy would respond to all the grievances.

“To make blanket complaints in the media is very unfair because you are not giving us a chance to address your concerns and also rectify ourselves,” she said.

Ambassador Kamau also announced the setting up of two honorary consuls in the US cities of Dallas in Texas and Boston, Massachusetts.

The two cities have a large population of Kenyans and have over the years been lobbying for consulates in these cities.

She said the honorary consuls are a first step to establishing consulates in this city and that the embassy will monitor the response to these consuls before moving to the next step.

The envoy also moved to calm fears that Kenyans in the US may not be able to vote using the second generation ID’s and may have to obtain a third generation ID in order to be eligible to vote in the 2017 polls.

Embassy staff were in Dallas over last weekend to issue the IDs.

She said that the second generation ID is a valid ID for purposes of registration of Kenyan citizens and that the fact that the government has captured applicants’ data when applying for the second generation ID, will make it easier for the government to use the same data and re-issue a third generation ID with ease without having to repeat the process of applying for a new card.

The ambassador met with Kenyan groups in Dallas which include the Kenya Diaspora Advisory Council and an East Africa group, the East Africa Chamber of Commerce.

On Wednesday evening, she also met with Dallas business leaders at the World Affairs Council forum. She assured American businesses that Kenya is taking measure in curbing the rising insecurity and maintained that Kenya remained a safe country for their investments.

She also pitched Kenya’s achievement in improving infrastructure and the discovery of oil in the country.

On Monday, she also met with the Queen’s night US international group, a group of women organizing themselves around the country to empower women.

The ministry has been able to establish chapters in Seattle, Boston, Houston Texas, Dallas Texas, Delaware, Lancaster PA, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Columbus Ohio, Connecticut, Kansas, and Baltimore Maryland. Upcoming chapters include Chicago, Michigan, Indiana and California.


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