Will We Ever Have Census For Kenyans In Diaspora?

There is a lot of hype about the soon to be carried out census in Kenya.

The 2009 census report that was launched at the KICC in Nairobi

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.

https://www.voanews.com/africa/kenyans-abroad-concerned-about-diaspora-policy

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.

Of Kenyans

Here we go:

https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-08-21-census-must-record-accurate-data-for-devolution-success/

 

By adongoogony Posted in kenya

2 comments on “Will We Ever Have Census For Kenyans In Diaspora?

  1. Adongo

    I think a diaspora census makes sense but at the same time will raise a few hard questions

    Its true there is significant dollars flowing back to Ke from this constituency

    But aside from getting a headcount and feeling good about achieving that number, I cannot see any good coming from it

    First with the cash strapped treasury, it will just mean some new victims for KRA to go after.

    2nd there are those that have become citizens of host country or have offspring that are citizens – unless someone willingly wants to be included, I think it would raise more of a stink than do any good

    Then there are those in dire situations ranging from logistic troubles to near domestic slavery or otherwise held hostage by adverse situations.
    In the ideal world with a functional government, such a census would facilitate planning e.g bring govt resources that help those who want to be included closer to the people and this would naturally help more funds flow.

    But lets stop with the pipedream.

    Lets first fix Ke,

    Lets not export the horrible dysfunctional govt and systems and take it back to the doorstep of people that fled and actively sought economic and political refuge, escape and/or freedom. That would be cruel

    I think the diaspora Kenyans at best should be provided an address / mailbox or even secure website to voluntarily provide their data if they so wish, but it will open a pandora box that cannot be closed.

    Be careful what one wishes for, … may just get it

    Diaspora is not broke, nothing to fix. In any case the local census can capture this information by simply getting including a field to count how many known immediate kin are abroad , length of absence etc

    I would not encourage anyone that got out this maze to try and wade back here.

    Like

    • Admin,

      We are going to have this discussion.

      I get your point.

      Yes the logistics are not there. It will cost money. I get that.

      But you know what we need to know how many of our citizens are out there and what the heck they are doing.

      We need them. You say how about the kids.

      My son’s mom is Eritrean. By their law he is an Eritrean citizen. They have already counted him and gave him an Eritrean Passport.

      Of course he was born in Canada so he is a Canadian citizen.

      And then we go to Kenya. We are the airport. JKIA of course. They ask him what is your name. He says adongo.

      The airport security says fine. You are a Kenyan. Karimi Daniel Adongo. A Kenyan national. But getting a Kenyan ID or passport for him is next to impossible.

      We need to know these young Kenyans and where they are.

      What do they want for the country? They are very good kids.

      What can they bring?

      We need money.

      We are NOT kidding about that.

      Bring stuff

      Then we talk.

      But we have to figure out where these people are.

      The Kenyan diaspora is huge and loaded.

      We are going to catch them.

      Oh yes we will.

      Liked by 1 person

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