I call upon all Kenyans in UK and in diaspora to participate in the ongoing BBI conversation. As Kenyans in the diaspora, we have our special interests to protect as native born Kenyans.
We therefore have issues to raise with BBI. Some among the many are the right of dual citizenship holders to be:
1. Appointed, elected or nominated to positions of higher responsibility without any discrimination whatsoever. This is an issue which can be dealt with in Parliament but we also know that parliamentary proceedings sometimes become partisan. Since we do not have a special representation, it may suffer premature dismissal in parliament. It is therefore important to have this position within the BBI document as a subject to consider during constitutional reform and amendment.
2. Our passports should be renewed or replaced at Embassies and High Commissions of Kenya without having to send them to Kenya. The requirement for police report should be substituted with Certificate of Good Conduct issuable by our consulates, Embassies and High Commissions abroad.
3. Kenyans in the diaspora needs to have a special representation both at the National Assembly and at the Senate. The old and tired argument that we are not a constituency within Kenya is discriminative and baseless. According to the Auditor General’s Office, the second largest source of revenue is from Kenyans In the diaspora. This is besides the fact that we pay taxes at individual business ventures in the country.
Two of the above proposals may not need a referendum but in my view, BBI discussions and the imminent referendum is an opportunity to entrench our positive desires to be protected by Law.
Joe Opiyo (Osia).
Kenyan in diaspora.