Revealed: Kenya’s 25 new envoys - Daily Nation

Revealed: Kenya’s 25 new envoys

Friday April 30 2010

Mr Ken Osinde, Dr Josephine Ojiambo and Mr James Ochami.

Mr Ken Osinde, Dr Josephine Ojiambo and Mr James Ochami. 

By PATRICK MAYOYO and JOHN NGIRACHU

The closely-guarded list of 25 new ambassadors is no longer secret.

Saturday Nation can reveal the identities of the envoys whose appointments have been kept under wraps over the past two weeks.

The appointees have been undergoing training in Nairobi and Mombasa, where journalists have been kept away.

Mystery surrounded the appointment of the new envoys, who replace those recalled earlier this month, as reports emerged that they had not been cleared by the National Security Intelligence Service.

Vetting by the intelligence agency is mandatory before top government positions such as ambassadors and high commissioners are filled.

Among those appointed are Dr Josephine Ojiambo (deputy resident representative, New York), Mr Benson Ogutu (Tokyo), Ms Monica Juma (AU headquarters in Addis Ababa), Mr Ken Osinde (Berlin, Germany), Mr Kipyego Cheluget (Lusaka, Zambia), Mr Paul Kibiwott Kurgat (Moscow, Russia), Mr Mohamed Ali Saleh (Riyadh), Mr Galma Boru (Doha), Mr Rashid Ali (Tehran), Ms Josephine Gaita (Rome, Italy), Mr Peter Kirimi Kaberia (Brazil), Mr Elkanah Odembo (Washington DC, US), Mr Anthony Andanje (deputy resident representative, Geneva), Ms Josephine Awuor (Harare), Ms Jean Kimani (Great Lakes), Mr Dave Arunga (Cairo), Ms Salma Ahmed (Paris), Mr Samori Ang’wa Okwiya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Mr Bramwel Kisuya (Madrid), Lt Gen Augustino S.K. Njoroge (Tel Aviv), Mr Peter Gitau (Windhoek), Ms Makena Muchiri (Kigali), Mr James Ochami (Kinshasa), Mr Cleland Leshore (Juba, Southern Sudan) and Mr Anthony Muchiri (Tripoli).

Strict instructions

On Friday, Nation traced the envoys to Neptune Beach Hotel and Resort in Mombasa where they were moved from Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi, but a manager there said that they had strict instructions not to allow journalists in.

Sources who talked to Saturday Nation on condition that they are not named said Foreign Affairs assistant minister Richard Onyonka was supposed to close the training course on Friday evening.

Contacted, Mr Onyonka said he was in Mombasa but would not divulge his mission.

Early this year, the government recalled 14 envoys and more than 100 junior staffers without giving reasons from Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Zambia and the United States among others.

Those recalled include Joseph Muchemi (UK), Dr Sospeter Machage (Russia), Mr Mutuma Kathurima (Germany), Mr Rateng Oginga Ogego (US) and Ms Ann Nyikuli (Italy). Others are Mr Mwakai Kikonde Sio (Spain) and Mr Lazarus Amayo (Zambia) in what Mr Onyonka described then as a normal.

“It’s a normal requirement after end of duty. The ministry has no problems with any of them,” Mr Onyonka was quoted.

The ambassadors and high commissioners who have been recalled are expected back by May 2 while the junior staff, who include education attaches and accountants are expected to return by June.

On Friday, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua, described reports of new ambassadors as rumours.

“Those are rumours and the government cannot comment on rumours. Whenever there are appointments, the government always makes an announcement,” he said.

However, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula confirmed earlier this week that the government was replacing ambassadors and high commissioners.

Additional reporting by Mwakera Mwajefa