Kenyans in the diaspora have faulted the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce for failing to include their views in the final BBI report.
The final report launched at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday did not capture any of the recommendations submitted by Kenyans abroad to the taskforce.
The diaspora community is now appealing to President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga to address their concerns if BBI is about inclusivity as they claim.
“Our voices must be heard; our challenges and aspirations must be captured in the process of governance of our country. This is the surest way to feel a sense of belonging as Kenyans,” said Samuel Ondicho of Minnesota as quoted by The Star.
Mary Jacinta, a Kenyan living in Germany, said: “We matter as Kenyans. Relegating us to the periphery when we contribute massively to the country’s economy is a travesty to democracy, inclusivity, and fair play. We are Kenya’s frontline ambassadors and our ideas cannot be trashed as if we don’t exist.”
Early this year, Kenyans abroad made a raft of recommendations to the BBI task force through the Diaspora National Assembly (DNA), and the Kenya Patriotic Movement (KEPAM).
Among the proposals made by the two diaspora organizations was the creation of a Diaspora Constituency to handle issues affecting Kenyans living abroad in Parliament.
They also suggested a Ministry of Diaspora Affairs be created and headed by a Kenyan diaspora, similar to that of Israel and India.
Kenyans in the diaspora further proposed the removal of the clause in the 2010 Constitution that bars holders of dual citizenship from holding and running for public office at the level of a State officer. They termed the clause as discriminatory and a violation of their birthright.
They also wanted Kenyans abroad to be allowed to take part in general elections as stipulated by Section 38 (3) (a), of the constitution.