The Foreign Affairs ministry has picked a task force to prepare rules for Kenyans in diaspora to participate in the 2017 General election or any referendum organized before then.
The 10-member team, chaired by Foreign Affairs diaspora and consular affairs director Washington Oloo, has been handed a three-year renewable term to finalize its work.
In the last General Election, Kenyans in the diaspora were barred from casting votes following unpreparedness by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Despite the 10th Parliament passing rules to guide the registration of voters abroad, the Cabinet opted not to approve the listing on realizing that IEBC did not have structures and mechanism in place to facilitate the process.
Aside from financial and time constraints, the electoral commission faced logistics challenges in conducting the massive exercise of registering voters locally and abroad.
The task force is expected, among other things, to advise on profiling of Kenyans in the diaspora who are eligible to vote. It would also establish the extent to which Kenyans living abroad could “progressively participate in General Elections and Referenda”.
Other members of the task force are Lucy Kiruthu, Gregory Somba, Joseph Kanyiri, Scholastica Ndambuki, Dennis Muhambe, Karen Rono, Kariuki Kimemia, Immaculate Kassait and Peter Oduge.
Kenyans in the diaspora play a key role in growth of the economy having remitted an estimated Sh1.3 trillion in 2014 alone.
Discussion Point: Should the task force have included representation from the diaspora?