Political Agility?

Ah, but if you have no expectations, You can never have a disappointment.
(Stephen Joshua Sondheim (1930- )

I am disappointed. It seems the politics did not stay out of this. We were contacted by the Kenya Embassy in Washington, D.C. and charged with nominating amongst us, Kenyans in the Diaspora (the US, Mexico and Columbia), ONE member of the Diaspora to participate in the July 29- Aug 2 conference in Nairobi.

The Ambassador gave us a mandate, with very little time to complete it. We volunteered hard-found time and energy to come up with a painstakingly transparent process. After numerous meetings, conference calls, and the review of writing samples, etc., we completed the process and communicated the selection of our nominee to the Embassy well within the given deadline, June 30, 2009.

After receiving no response from the Embassy, I made the phone call that would intimate that perhaps all of our hard work was for naught. Chronic Politics As Usual?! And while I'm not one to sip on the grapevine juice, news that a high ranking female staffer at the Embassy may have hand-picked the candidate weeks ago, is extremely disappointing.

At the end of the day, if we confirm that to be the case my question will be: In his efforts to portray himself as Ambassador for the Kenya Diaspora, will he have shown political agility, or just dreadful political maneuverings and for/to whose advantage?

Mama Shujaa


  1. poli-ticks noun; medical condition: serious infestation of blood sucking parasites.

    I guess 'tis fair to say that it's difficult to keep politics out of any important sphere of our lives but I also share your disappointment with the sham nomination/ selection process.

    Whose advantage: The highest bidder

  2. ah, man. so disappointing. but hey, that's african politics, generally disappointing.. . no? xxx j

  3. This culture of impunity and being power-drunk are a lethal combination. Great to see you are putting up a fight and please continue asking those hard questions.

  4. Through my past dealings, I have learned to expect a degree of ineptness from the high commission. Which is why I did not expect my reaction when I read your blog post.

    Utter disbelief.

    At a time when the government has the full attention of the diaspora, and should be engaging us productively, they seem to stick to the old 'lip service' tactics.

    Whatever the real truth may be, is now less important. Our perception from this experience is what ultimately counts.

  5. My friend,

    That is so sad to hear.

    The political situation in Swaziland is just as fraught with corruption and snide backroom dealings.

    We have taken the approach for better or worse that in order to achieve our goals and ensure that our projects succeed we need to stay away from the government as much as possible.

    This is truly a dissapointing situation because deep change needs to be supported by governments.

    I know you will keep fighting on for the people, in the end its always about them,

    Much love, Maithri

  6. Don, Janelle, Tamaku, Mwistar and Maithri thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Surely there is some way to hold them to account. Public servants need to be put in their place when they step out of line with the people.

    I should think some noise will be made..


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