Reason Kenyans in Diaspora need Representation in Parliament
By Isaac Gicheru Kariuki
Like waking up in a bad dream, Kenyans in Diaspora particularly those in America are traumatized by murders committed by Kenyans on other Kenyans. The last one and a half month has been the worst after the murder of Naomi Mwangi in Georgia, the murder of Wilfrida N. Masabah in Kansas, the subsequent suicide of husband Hoseah Masabah Kaminja’s and now the latest killing this week of a Kenyan wife and two children.
This deaths adds to many this year, majority of which have been suicide related and involving young people. With lack of leadership and proper coordination to find the root cause and to address the problem, Kenyans wake up every day with news of death here and there which they have been ignoring as a normal occurrence but now there is a realization that it is not normal and that it is becoming worse by the day.
In February, few church leaders under the banner of Kenya International Day of prayer led by Dr.John Kivuva organized Tele- Conference prayers where they sensitized the Kenyans on the unusual number of deaths then. People prayed and repented but with the situation worsening again, there are feelings that the problem needs some professional intervention and the question is who organizes and coordinates such a task.
According to suggestions collected by Diaspora Messenger, a Kenyan social network site, many people are recommending bringing Kenyan professionals together and collecting resources to reach out and educate Kenyans in Diaspora on how to handle issues that lead to such desperate measures. The question is who organizes these professionals and who coordinates the activities. The 2.5 million Kenyans in the Diaspora happen to contribute immensely in the economy of Kenya and even though they don’t pay taxes directly, the ever increasing annual remittance should give them representation in Parliament because the Government needs them and they are important stake holders too.
In 2008-2009 financial year, Kenyans living and working abroad remitted over 1 billion Dollars to the country. To maintain this figure and to guarantee more remittance in the future, the Kenya Government needs every last of its citizen abroad and it is in its interest to help this group succeed in what they are doing. Also the offspring of this group is important for the future of Kenya in that when young people die untimely as they are dying, it is Kenya losing just as much as the families. In view of this, it is in the Government’s interest to create representation in Parliament to ensure that their needs are met and in the case of the current murders and deaths, the Kenya government needs to lead the way to find out the root cause and the solution to solve the problem.
The American spirit is very inspiring as they value their citizens very highly that if something happens to one of them abroad, they marshal all their resources together to investigate, solve the problem and put measures in place to prevent future occurrences. The Kenya Government should borrow a leaf from that spirit and do something to help its citizens in America. In the absence of a Diaspora Representative, Parliament, through the Prime Minister Raila Odinga should allocate time to discuss this problem and recommend ways to help.
The writer can be contacted through [email protected] Tel: 301 528 4689