Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Kenya

Newsline: Kenyans in Germany demonstrate over poor services by the Kenyan embassy

Kenyans in Germany demonstrated over poor services by the Kenyan embassy in Berlin. They claim the embassy has unfair and unreasonable requirements for the processing of visas using e-passport. They have urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to their aid as he promised them two years ago when he visited Germany and recognized them as the 48th County. Most of them claim the embassy cites lack of machine as the reason why it’s takes long for them to process the visas. In the past, they have been forced to fly back to Kenya to have their finger prints taken.



Newsline: Chinese embassy warns tourists to be on guard against hippos in Kenya

The Chinese Embassy in Kenya has warned travelers to be alert to dangers in visiting wildlife after a tourist from China’s Taiwan died while another was injured in an attack by a hippopotamus on the shores of Lake Naivasha. The two tourists were taking photos when they were attacked by the hippo at around 3 p.m. on Saturday at Sopa Resort about 95 km northwest of Nairobi. The embassy’s statement said it’s important for tourists to be on guard against dangers, noting several incidents of hippos attacking Chinese here in recent years. Tourists are urged not to get close to hippos, especially calves, or feed them because the huge mammals may attack rapidly and have a powerful bite once they feel threatened, which can include startling them with a camera flash. The embassy also suggests tourists be mindful of wild animals in the reserve areas of Kenya such as lions, cheetahs and rhinos.


Newsline: American embassy attack was Kenya’s wake up call

Walk into almost any building in Nairobi today and you are sure to undergo at least a cursory body search. This is the legacy terror group Al Qaida left 20 years ago today, when it bombed the American Embassy, killing 224 people and wounding more than 4,000 others. Since then, most building entrances are manned by uniformed guards, who search visitors with metal detectors and record their names, ID and phone numbers. Ubiquitous private security guards and regular street patrols by uniformed policemen have made Nairobi an openly militarised city. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced in May that the government was considering arming private security guards, but some people felt it would be ill-advised, given the guards’ low level of training and skills.


Newsline: Former employee seeks Ksh. 45M compensation from Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya

The Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya wants to pursue an out of court settlement of a case where they owe a former employee Ksh.45 million. The former employee, Abdi Mohammed Abdullahi, accused the embassy of illegal termination of employment. The Embassy, through an advocate, acknowledged before Justice Byram Ongayo that they owe Mr. Abdullahi, who was head of research and a translator, salary arrears amounting to Sh4.9 million. The court also heard that the Embassy will start by paying the complainant Sh2.9 million by March 16 as they negotiate further. During the agreement, lawyers for the two parties, agreed to meet the Saudi Arabia Ambassador before the next mention date of the case.


Newsline: Chinese embassy in Kenya denies racism in ‘blackface’ skit

The Chinese Embassy in Nairobi on Sunday fought back claims of racism in a skit aired on Thursday by China’s national broadcaster. The embassy said any perception of ill-will was from people who are not happy with Beijing’s cooperation with Africa. Mr Zhang Gang, a spokesman of the embassy, told the Nation that the reports of malice were “ill-intended, totally distorting and smearing”. He said the show was vetted by government officials before airing. The controversial skit was aired by China Central Television (CCTV) during an annual gala to mark the Chinese New Year. The gala is said to be the most watched TV event, with more than 700 million people tuning in. This year’s show was themed around the strengthening relations between China and Africa. However, in a performance that was to depict a scene in Kenya of a Chinese man involved in the construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR), a Chinese actress who played the role of a Kenyan mother raised eyebrows. She painted herself black and stuffed her undergarments to look like she had huge behinds. And she showed up on stage with a monkey walking by her side. Reports say the monkey was an African man in a special costume.


Newsline: Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments

The audits in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya were ordered after a probe found Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7M over 12 years. Audits of five Canadian embassies operating in “higher fraud-risk environments” have found cases of questionable procurement practices, undocumented payments for work, and sky-high levels of overtime for drivers. The audits were ordered after a 2016 investigation discovered that Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7 million over 12 years through inflated supply contracts and diverted materials. The government fired 17 locally recruited employees over the case. Management audits were conducted on Canadian embassies in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya, as well as on Canada’s embassy in South Korea as a low-risk environment for comparison purposes. The audit on the Nigeria embassy was the most damning, concluding that protocols around “finance, procurement, contracting, revenues, and asset management were not consistently followed and some key controls were not in place or were circumvented.” Several dubious payments were found, including one case where the contract was signed after the work had already commenced, another where the overtime was paid at a higher rate than in the contract, and another where the value of the contract was “significantly exceeded without a contract amendment.”

Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments, ballooning overtime costs

Newsline: US Ambassador to Kenya seen on his way out

US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, on Thursday morning raised speculation that he could be on his way out of the position he has held for the past five years. While celebrating Thanksgiving Day – a public holiday marked on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States – Godec said he is thankful for the “opportunity to have served as US Ambassador in Kenya”, a statement that could be understood to mean his tenure is on the homestretch. He has denied he is leaving the country several times in the past.