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Kenya Passport: An International Appeal
Petition Background (Preamble):
I am making this International appeal as part of my struggle for a Kenyan Passport. I am a Kenyan citizen by birth and former holder of a Kenyan Passport which was submitted to the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm in April this year for renewal. According to the Kenyan Embassy, renewal of Passports normally takes a period of six weeks.
I have now entered the seventh month of waiting for my Passport, time when I have been unable to travel from Sweden because my travel document is being with-held by the Kenyan government. My freedom of Movement has suddenly been curtailed by the Kibaki government, my Constitutional right to a Passport violated with impunity while the reality that the Kibaki government is sitting on my Passport application for no apparent reason has subjected me to uncalled for mental and psychological torture.
I have made several attempts to get explanations from the Kenyan Embassy to no avail because senior staff at the Embassy do not know what has happened. Mr. George Kinyua, the First secretary, has had no explanations while his senior, Ms Jenipher Vivian Awuor, the Principle counsellor, is equally at sea as to why my Passport is being detained. In the process of my Inquiries, Peter, an employee at the Embassy, said that the Mission had written a “very strong letter” to the Immigration Department but so far, nothing has happened.
There is so far no communication from Nairobi and even the letter the Mission supposedly wrote to the Immigration Officer weeks ago has not been acknowledged. The situation is so serious that the Kenyan Ambassador to Scandinavia has gone underground to avoid embarrassment and to dodge questions about the Passport. Attempts to talk to her have all been thwarted with a plethora of hopeless excuses.
Tired of waiting, totally frustrated and after exhausting every available avenue of enquiry, I wrote to President Mwai Kibaki as the Head of government of the Republic of Kenya because all his juniors down the line had failed to act. Unfortunately, the President believes that Kenyans “ni Wapumbavu” (stupid) and has publicly said so on Television, time when he also asserted that Kenyans are “mavi ya kuku” (Chicken shit). To date, the President has not responded to my letter and it is against this background that I am making this International appeal.
I am not mavi ya kuku. I am a Kenyan citizen whose fundamental Rights and Freedoms are enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution. A Passport is a basic document that a responsible government should be able to deliver to its citizens as long as all requirements have been fulfilled. The document is very valuable to a citizen resident abroad because it carries with it the power for its holder to exercise his/her Freedom of Movement.
During 24 years of Iron fisted and ruthless dictatorship of former despot Daniel arap Moi whose defeat paved the way for Kibaki to take power, Kenyans were routinely denied Passports because of Moi’s vapid fear of opposition building in exile allegedly to overthrow the then blood-thirsty and thieving regime which had also become hated to the bone by millions of Kenyans. In the name of controlling crime, innocent Kenyans were being shot dead in the streets like rats as others also starved to death due to lack of food.
When President Kibaki was elected and enthroned by the Kenyan people in January 2002, millions of Kenyans who voted for change believed that political skullduggery, public executions, economic chicanery and overt contravention of the sacrosanct Rights and Freedoms of bonafide citizens of the Republic of Kenya (vices that had been compassed meticulously under Moi) would be antiquated under the new Kibaki dispensation.
TODAY I AM THE VICTIM, TOMORROW IT MIGHT BE YOU
My Freedom of Movement, which the Kenyan government is currently violating without recourse, is not just protected by the Kenyan Constitution. It is also protected by section 13 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other International documents. By denying me a Kenyan Passport without valid reasons, the Kenyan government is openly and unashamedly violating requisite International Conventions of which it is a signatory. This is a crime under International Law.
At the political level, the decadent Kibaki regime has failed in many ways and disappointed millions of Kenyans who elected him to Office expecting radical changes. These failures are responsible for the horrendous defeat of the regime during the November 2005 Referendum on a counterfeited Constitution the regime wanted to force down the throats of Kenyans.
Tribalism, corruption, nepotism and theft of public resources are just a few headlines in the catalogue of catastrophic failures that has now convinced millions of Kenyan voters that “Kibaki must go” come the next elections.
Now that the political and organizational degeneration has reached a point where the regime cannot even issue a Passport to a Kenyan citizen already outside the country, it would be safe to conclude that the basic structures of the government under Kibaki have either collapsed or are in the process of doing so. This calls for struggle against the regime by Kenyans and friends either at the individual or collective level.
I am appealing to members of the International community who support or sympathize with my situation to sign this Petition as part of their contribution to putting pressure on Kibaki’s government to issue me with a Kenyan Passport so that I can regain my freedom of Movement.
International solidarity is a well established method of struggle and I believe that every signature on this Petition will go a long way to pricking the declining conscience of the failing Kibaki regime to act on the issue at hand.
There are times when innocent civilians who have fallen victim to the whims of autocrats have no option but to revert to the citizens of the World for solidarity. This is my situation.
I have entered into an open struggle for my Kenyan Passport because accepting the verdict of the Kibaki government to deny me the document would be tantamount to endorsing violation of my right to move freely around the world. I will not suffer in silence!
I am mobilizing a delegation to the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm to deliver this Petition to the Kenyan government and therefore I urge those who agree with the content of this Petition to treat it with the urgency it deserves. I need explanations by the Kenyan Ambassador to Scandinavia H.E Mrs Purity Muhindi why the government is sitting on my Passport application.
A violation is a violation whether it involves a Military regime attacking and killing (in cold blood) innocent demonstrators in Burma or failure by a recalcitrant government in Kenya to issue a law abiding citizen with a Passport.
As part of this struggle, I intend to contact various media outlets to help dramatize my case locally and Internationally, Human Rights Organizations, International Institutions, Political Parties in Kenya and abroad, Civil society, politicians in Kenya and abroad, Non Governmental Organizations, people of good will around the world and any other contacts that might be of help in putting pressure on the Kibaki regime to issue me with a valid Kenyan Passport.
Today, I am the victim of a blatant and unwarranted violation and tomorrow, you might find yourself staring at another government violation in the eye. You might be the next on the line to appeal for International solidarity so let us unite to defeat the evil intentions of Kibaki-like governments now and in future.
Thank you for taking your precious time to read this petition and I thank you in advance for your support. I need my Passport and I will not compromise with a draconian, corrupt and tribalistic government hell-bent on snatching away the rights and freedoms of its own citizens after failing to deliver on key election promises. Shame on the Kibaki government! Give me my Passport now!
Mrs Anna Okoth
2nd October 2007
Office Of The President – Republic Of Kenya; Office of the Vice President – Republic of Kenya; Principle Immigration Officer; Kenya Embassy In Stockholm; Internet Discussion groups; United Nations; Local and International Press; Human Rights Organizations; Other Relevant International Institutions and websites; Kenyan organizations and Political Parties at home and abroad; Diplomatic Missions In Sweden; Political Parties of other countries; Civil Society In Kenya, Sweden and the World; Non Governmental Organizations across the World; Other Interested Parties, supporters, friends and sympathizers.
The Kenya Passport: An International Appeal petition to The Government Of The Republic of Kenya was written by Anna Okoth and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: anna okoth kenya passport international appeal