Kenya Embassy in Washington, DC Releases Breakdown of Hotel Expenses at the 2011 Diaspora Conference
The Kenya Embassy in Washington, DC on Friday released a breakdown of the expenses incurred at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC during last year's Kenya Diaspora Conference-USA.
The breakdown details how $106,801.00 was spent at the hotel in the course of the three days that the conference lasted - October 7-9, 2011.
The release of the expense breakdown came after much uproar in the last two days on social media from Kenyans in the US following the release by the Embassy on Wednesday of the 2011 Kenya Diaspora Conference - USA Income/Expenditure Report Released. Kenyans on social media had questioned the high hotel fee and wanted the Embassy to provide details of how $106,801.00 was spent at the Marriott.
Find the breakdown below:
Mikutano tunayoishuhudia itayarishwayo na Balozi wetu kule Washington DC, na pia inayotayarishwa kukutana na viongozi wanaotembelea nchi hii, ni muhimu kwa upande mmoja, na ni wa kupoteza wakati, kwa upande mwingine. Kwanini niseme hivyo? Kwa sababu mikutano hio yote huwa tu maonyesho ya fataki. Walsha hizo zote huwa tu kunufaisha balozi wa wahusika wake kwani, kusema, " Wakati wao wa kura, nd'o huu!"
Ni wajibu wa balozi yoyote katika nchi yeyote kukutana na Wakenya wa nchi anayoiwakilisha kujadili kuhusu maswala mbalimbali inayoikabidhi nchi yetu na kutafuta suluhisho mwafaka, mikakati na mbinu kabambe itakayoweza kuboresha hali ya nchini wakati wa majadiliano.
Ni katika mikutano na walsha kama hizo za hadhara ambazo Wakenya waishio Marekani huweza kumtumia balozi huyo kuwakilisha malalamishi yao, maswala mengi yanayowakera na vizingiti chungu nzima vinavyowakabiri wanapojaribu kuikuza nchi yao, kama haya:
- Swala la kunua mashamba na ploti.
- Swala la kununua nyumba.
- Swala la kuhakikisha kwamba vyeti au vibali wanavyopawa kutoka kwa ofisi za serikali kama Ardhi House, ni halali.
- Swala la kuiomba ubalozi huo kuharakisha vibali vya kusafirisha wenzetu wanaofariki wakiwa hapa Marekani.
- Swala la kuihusisha ubalozi katika kuhahakisha kwamba vyeti vyote tunavyopewa baada ya kununua mali nyumbani zinahalalishwa na ubalozi huo kabla malipo ya mwisho kutolewa.
- Swala la kuhakikisha kwamba viongozi wa nchi, wakurungenzi wa mashirika mbalimbali ya serikali na ya kibinafsi wanaofika hapa wa wanatimiza ahadi wanazowapa Wakenya baada ya hadhara hizo.
- Swala la utumiaji vizuri misaada ya ruzuku na mali ghafi kuhakikisha kwamba yote yanakwenda sawia na matakwa ya mataifa ya magharibi ikiwemo Benki Kuu ya Dunia, ambayo inakariri wito wake wa kuhakikisha kwamba zinapunguza umaskini nchini ambao kwa sasa unakidhiri.
Kuhudhuria mikutano kama hio ambapo unalipa dola mia mbili inakukosesha mwelekeo. Ukitafakari baadaye ulichofaidika na walsha kama hizo unagutuka na kugundua kwamba kweli wewe katoka ng'o! Bila chochote ila mamneno matamu matamu kutoka kwa walioalikwa, lakini ambayo pia huwezi kuyatekeleza, yanakugongesha mwamba mara kwa mara.
Mkutano wa siku tatu tu ambao unatumia dola 106,801.00 (zaidi ya Sh 8,000,000) kwa siku tatu inaleta takshwishwi, hamasa na mtafaruku hasa katika hali hii mbaya ya kiuchumi ambapo fedha kuzipata ni shida. Yumkini pesa zilitumika.
Lakini baada ya kuwa pale kwa siku tatu, jiulize ulitoka na lipi, na nini na nani? Almuradi, walsha ikawa bure ghali, bure burashi, na mwisho wake ukawa hizo shamla shamla zako za kujua utumizi wa pesa hizo. Unakuwa tena wewe kakuwa mdadisi wa kudadisi mambo. Endelea kudadisi......
I read about Isaac Newton Kinity's complaint about questionable expenditures at the Kenya Embassy in Washington, DC, sometime early this year. At first, thought that his complaints were misplaced. However, looking at the figures provided here by the Embassy, something does not seem right. We all know that Embassies have been riddled with corruption, if the Tokyo, Lagos (to name just but a few) scams are anything to go by.
My question to Kenya Embassy in Washington, DC is; how come the embassy spent $106,000 in just two days yet we are informed that the money was spent on food and beverages only. And even with that we see 500 cups of tea each costing a whole $10.00! Was this being charged on a special rate set for Kenyans? I have been a customer to the hotel before and the rates here are way too unrealistic. How many were the participants? Were they 500? Did all the participants stay the whole two days? Is it justified for someone to doubt the ingenuity of this so called Diaspora council?
This Diaspora council started as Ambassador's Council. Later on, it was changed into Diaspora council on suspicious grounds, apparently to cover the ambassador out of any possible questions on any future questionable public expenditures. The ambassador who is the brainchild of this thing has called for a more accountable budgetary disclossure. I praise him him for that but that is not enough? is there something he knows and if so, when did he come to be suspicious as is the case on a number of kenyans? The ambassador does not enjoy popular support of the Diasporans because of his arrogance and condescending attitude toward Kenyans. How can he be expected to steer a successful program intended to unite Kenyas? This is an exercise devised for purposes of stealing Kenyans' money.
Something is evidently fishy here and the ambassador, by merely passing the buck on his minions cannot escape responsibility if it emerges that public funds were misapproprieted.