Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kenyans in diaspora warn state against isolating the West

BY LYDIA MATATA Kenyans in Diaspora have raised concerns over what they see as a growing rift between Kenya and the West. In a statement signed by Kenya Diaspora Alliance chairman Shem Ochuodho and Coordinator Peter Kerre, the alliance has warned the government against “alienating” certain parts of the world saying that it only serves to harm relations that could promote trade, tourism and other exchanges. The statement comes days after the government on Saturday issued a travel advisory warning Kenyan citizens against travelling through London’s Heathrow airport. Foreign Affairs Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed said however that the advisory was not a retaliation for travel advisories issued by the UK government. “Let’s keep in mind that a good percentage of the Kenyan Diaspora, including students and many of our national leaders’ kids, live, study and work in the West” KDA said in the statement released on Wednesday. KDA further said that the upcoming August 2014 USA-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC which President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to attend, is an opportunity for the diaspora community to help towards better relations between Kenya and host countries. The Diaspora community has also called on the government to curb escalating levels of insecurity. “We believe that this situation is indicative of underlying failures in our beloved country including but not limited to inequality, skyrocketing cost of living, an inept and reactive security system, unemployment-marginalization and exclusion of the youth, nepotism, corruption and a failure to give due attention to Agenda Four reforms.” KDA said. The alliance said that the insecurity levels may call for an overhaul of the security system pointing to the example of South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-Won took responsibility for a ferry disaster in that claimed more than 300 lives after and resigned on April 27. “While we are not asking of the same for Kenya, we stress the need for Kenyan leaders to take Kenyan lives seriously with full responsibility. We would rather a culture of 'resignation' than leaders being forced out of office for failing to live up t o their mandate. Kenya and Kenyans lives are bigger than any one of us, including the leadership – both in government and opposition.” KDA said. - See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-177489/kenyans-diaspora-warns-state-against-isolating-west#sthash.b9sKRivk.dpuf

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