By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
First of all, the idea of having Diasporans vote in the coming referendum is a right and not a privilege.
Number one, the referendum is at the corner and putting mechanisms (logistics) in order for all Kenyans scattered in the Diaspora to register and vote is a tedious exercise which cannot be accomplished in one month.
This means postponing the referendum and Remember, the latest ruling that paved the way for the registration of prisoners and remandees has put the IIEC in a quandary. The issue of Diasporans has added insult to injury.
Many Kenyans will ask where were those behind the latest move only to emerge at the eleventh hour when the matter was not raised early enough for logistics to be put in place by the IIEC for the exercise to succeed. It’s unrealistic to fix modalities in one month to allow Kenyans to vote from the Diaspora when we’re scattered throughout the globe.
Number two, we in the Diaspora don’t want to be seen as part and parcel of those who want to scuttle or delay the country from getting a new law. If anything, the enshrinement of duo citizenship in the proposed law is one of the aspects that will address the concern of many Kenyans who have sought citizenship in other countries that will enable them to vote in future elections. Think about it, the latest injunction coming too late does not build our credibility at all since we are now compared to the no camp.
Number three, the personalities (proxies) who filed the injunction represent a group of Kenyans fighting tooth and nail to have the referendum postponed
I don’t want to sound harsh but we need to be privy with some idlers in Kenya who purport to champion for the rights our right when their primary goal is either publicity or economic gains. Furthermore, some in the civil society love to see the Country swim disorder because they fear that comprehensive reforms will make it elusive for them to attract funding from donors.
Number four, I may not cast my vote from abroad but I have family members, friends and relatives whom I could advise based on what I have read in the proposed law and how important it is for them to exercise their democratic right to vote for or against the new law t that will consequently shape the destiny of our motherland.
Finally, I’m not dismissing the idea but I believe such move required consultation and consensus building amongst Kenyans in the Diaspora in this critical stage of our national rebirth because the injunction encompasses all Kenyans living abroad from the thinnest, Monaco to the most populous China.
Therefore, I vehemently deny that I will never be part of this latest scheme whose primary metaphor is either to delay or deny the Country from realizing a new constitution.
(Joseph Lister Nyaringo is a regular blogger on this Website. He is based in New Jersey, USA)