There is a lot of hype about the soon to be carried out census in Kenya.
Many counties are hoping to pump their numbers up so as to be able to get more devolution money. Talk of census rigging is all over the place.
Anytime tax payer money is on the line Kenyan politicians do crazy things.
But I have one question. Do we as a country have any idea how many Kenyans live in the diaspora? 3 million as is in some reports we have seen? 4 million may be? How many?
That is a whole country out there. We don’t need to give them healthcare or housing. They can figure it out there. So we will not be counting them for that.
But we could work with them on broader issues of local investment and money transfer systems, technology transfers and investments and so many other things.
Those broader issues on economic and social development have no political boundaries and would overcome the little divisions within the Kenyan communities in diaspora.
For example tax on money exchange is very complicated. It should be streamlined to boost the digital financial transactions that has made Kenya a shining example through MPESA and to provide incentives for Kenyans abroad to invest in the country. It is a win win for everybody.
This is one of the unverified pieces I have seen on the Kenyan Diaspora Population as of right now.
I mean every year we hear about the huge amount of money they send back to Kenya for family and business. It is in big billions of the foreign currency in the country.
We throw the money there everyday to do a million different things. I can’t remember any payday in my last 20-30 years of work here in Canada when I didn’t send at least 25% of my earnings to Kenya for so many different things.
In fact that is the one thing that makes me very happy to go to work everyday.
Just today I was talking to my sister. Her son is having his graduation at Eldoret University on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
She is going there with her family. I was telling her that is the most terrible waste of money to travel with a whole group of people there. It is a couple days of travel back and forth and hotels and all. It was going to cost them a lot.
I told her let the boy graduate, tell him to go have ice cream with his friends and go back to Nairobi where he already has a job. We will have a graduation party later on.
But my sister said nope. She is going to give the boy moral support and she reminded me my mom came all the way to Nairobi on my graduation day and I took her all over the city taking pictures with her. So I shut up promptly.
But we agreed that it was a better idea to send money to take the boy through college and she is very capable of handling the costs of the graduation business. Fine and fair.
So we send money down there endlessly. We buy all sorts of things.
I am personally battling with how best to utilize tractors that me and my nephew bought. I mean it feels like all my money is going down there and I am here.
But does our country even know how many we are out here and how best we can help in the country’s development.
Kenyans in diaspora are probably one of the biggest and most valuable county for Kenya.
How many are we? Where are we?
Those are my questions.
And we were supposed to be voting according to the new constitution.
Obviously that is not happening any time soon with these bumblers in charge of the republic.
Can we sue for that and ask our Chief Justice Maraga and the Supreme Court to tell us what the legal situation is.
I think we need a constitutional interpretation of the constitutional requirement that Kenyans living out of the country at the time of voting be able to cast their votes in Presidential and all other legislative votes carried out in the republic of Kenya.
This is a very doable thing. Many countries are doing it as we speak.
If we in the diaspora at voting time can’t vote we can seek to declare any election without clear opportunities for the participation of Kenyans in diaspora as grossly unconstitutional and therefore null and void. That is for another day. But it could come sooner than later.
But for the record clear opportunities would have to include voter registration, a transparent and credible voting process and declaration of results that is credible and transparent.
Anybody who doesn’t want to vote that is their problem. But the opportunity to vote must be available and transparent.
But yes we do have a census coming up in a week.
Here we go: