MPs from the Luhya community have come out guns blazing against Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma whom they accused of frustrating members of the community in foreign service postings.
The legislators from Western Kenya cited the case of eight senior foreign affairs officers they claim were recalled from their stations but are currently ‘idling’ in the Nairobi office.
Led by Senators Cleophas Malala, Naomi Shionga (Nominated), MPs George Aladwa, and Godfrey Osotsi during a presser at Parliament argued that envoys, as is the tradition, should be re-posted to another station at least two years after redeployment or transfer to Kenya.
“While ambassadors from other tribes are enjoying transfers and other privileges from one station to another, some getting contract extensions, Luhya ambassadors are being frustrated, humiliated, and have been recalled home,” Malala, who read the statement on behalf of the leaders, said.
They petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to act on the matter.
They cited the case of ambassadors Ken Vitisia, Antony Andanje, Simon Nabukwesi, Geoffrey Okanga, Florence Weche, Shikanga Shitsama, Yvonne Khamati and Patrick Wamoto.
Slots being filled are for Abu Dhabi, Algiers, Dublin, Lusaka, Seoul, Stockholm, UN – Habitat, Dakar, Rome, Kuwait, Berlin, Bern and Accra.
In the case of Vitisia, he was transferred from Burundi but has remained in Nairobi instead of being posted elsewhere. Andanje was replaced by Njambi Kiyungu as ambassador yet his peers are still serving, the MPs said.
In the case of Nabukwesi, the officer has served at the headquarters for six years since recall without being posted outside. Okanga was fired in 2018 and replaced with Kiema Kilonzo in Uganda while Weche did not get his term extended as was the case of his peers at the ministry.
Khamati has, on the other hand, been at the headquarters for 10 years without being posted to a workstation.
The MPs further blamed the CS for the tribulations the late Yvonne Wamalwa faced at the ministry.
They claimed Juma, then as PS, declined to approve Yvonne’s posting to India as deputy ambassador.
“Yvonne would have gotten medical attention in India while serving there. She instead died poor and her kids are now languishing in poverty,” Malala added.
The late VP Michael Wamalwa’s widow was appointed by the former Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed (now Sports CS) “but Juma refused to sign the posting order”.
“We will not forgive you (Juma) for that. Maybe she (Yvonne) would have been alive today and taking care of her children.”