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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Diaspora alliance congratulates UhuRuto on re-election, ask for ministry

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto shake hands moments after being declared re-elected for a second term by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017. /MONICA MWANGI
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto shake hands moments after being declared re-elected for a second term by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017. /MONICA MWANGI

The Kenya Diaspora Alliance has congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for their re-election and urged them to immediately embark on uniting the country.

In a statement on Saturday, KDA chairman Shem Ochuodho said the duo should particularly deal with the “evils of exclusion and corruption” which have bedeviled the country for a long time.

“It cannot be business as usual; the next five years must be different. Kenyans can’t accept to be held back any longer by these two vices,” Ochuodho said.

Kenyans in the Diaspora voted for the first time in Kenya’s history during the just concluded August 8 elections.

A total of 4,393 Kenyans out of an estimated 3 million living in abroad were registered by the Independent Electoral Commission to participate in the general elections.

Read: Uhuru it is! IEBC declares 'tano tena' for Kenya's president

Ochuodho also congratulated other winners in the election including the defeated NASA and lauded its leadership for spirited campaigns and sustained fight for democracy.

He however urged the opposition to seek legal redress on their grievances over the election results to forestall any unnecessary shedding of blood or loss of life and property.

Read: We won't challenge presidential results in court - NASA

“KDA too feels there was a predictive sprouting of presidential figures that was suspicious. However, only a professional forensic audit will establish the truth and lay to rest any such fears.”

Ochuodho said Kenyan professionals in the Diaspora are open to offer assistance, if need be, to the IEBC “to debunk any hanging clouds”.

Given Diaspora contributions to Kenya’s economy through financial remittances, Ochuodho said the Jubilee administration should consider creating a ministry to deal with diaspora matters.

He proposed the creation of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs which would be annexed from the Foreign Affairs ministry.

He cited countries like Nigeria, India and Georgia that have established such ministries.

“In the alternative, Foreign (ministry) should be restructured and renamed ‘Foreign and Diaspora Affairs’ to give the Ministry appropriate mandate to deal with this increasingly crucial segment of our society,” Ochuodho said.

According to Central Bank statistics, Kenyans in the diaspora remitted a total Sh179 billion last year.

Remittance inflows to Kenya increased by 10 per cent to Sh16.6 billion in May 2017 compared to a similar period last year when it stood at Sh15billion.

Read: Diaspora remittances tops forex inflows - official data

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