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Kenyan diplomats abroad exit for Ruto's newly appointed envoys

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Kenyan ambassadors stationed abroad are completing their tenures and preparing to return home as others are being recalled from their posts to make room for newly appointed diplomats.

Kenyan ambassadors stationed abroad are completing their tenures and preparing to return home as others are being recalled from their posts to make room for newly appointed diplomats, tasked with advancing the interests of President William Ruto's administration on the international stage.

President Ruto recently finalised the appointment of a roster comprising high commissioners, ambassadors, permanent representatives, and consuls-general to represent Kenya in various countries, following their approval by parliament several weeks earlier.

Out of the 27 nominees nominated for various posts, only 26 were vetted by parliament. For the two others, the National Assembly rejected the nomination of Charles Githinji as the consul-general to Goma, the DRC, citing a lack of knowledge of the jurisdiction, while former West Mugirango legislator, Vincent Mogaka Kemosi, rejected the job offer and declined to be vetted.

25 received approval and their names were subsequently forwarded to the president for official appointment. The 25 appointees are waiting to be sworn in and posted, according to a May 3 Gazette notice.

Among the 25  were high commissioners Catherine Kirumba Karemu (UK), Caroline Kamende Daudi (Canada), Joash Arthur Maangi (Uganda), Lilian Tomitom (Zambia), and Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Peter Mbogo Njiru (Pakistan)

The ambassadors include Abdi Aden Korio (Oman), Moi Lemoshira (Japan), Christopher Andrew Lang'at (Ivory Coast), David Kiplagat Kerich (US), Peter Mutuku Mathuki (Russia), Everylyne Mwenda Karisa (Cuba), and Fred Outa (Egypt).

Others are Halima Yussuf Mucheke (Netherlands), Jessica Muthoni Gakinya (Morocco), Kenneth Milimo Nganga (UAE), Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Jonah Mwangi (Iran), Anne Kisaka Nanguli (Senegal), and Timothy Kaluma Mcharo (Algeria).

The permanent representatives are Fancy Too (Geneva), Gertrude Angote (UNEP), Grace Atieno Okara (UN-HABITAT), and Ekitela Erastus Lokaale (New York), while the consuls-general are Aden Mohamud Mohamed (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), David Iboko Lokemer (Dubai, UAE), and Ezra Chiloba (Los Angeles, USA).

Kenya’s High Commissioner to London

Kenya’s High Commissioner to London, Manoah Esipisu, concluded his tenure on May 13, having played a pivotal role in strengthening diplomatic ties between Kenya and the UK.

His departure opens the door for Catherine Kirumba Karemu, the wife of the late former Nyeri Governor, Wahome Gakuru, who has been approved as his successor for the London mission.

Esipisu, previously a State House spokesperson in Kenya, served as high commissioner for over five years, starting in 2018, under the administration of former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

His tenure coincided with the UK's departure from the European Union (EU), during which he successfully negotiated a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and Kenya.

With the UK exiting the EU, direct engagement became essential for nations seeking to do business with Britain. Esipisu's efforts resulted in a trade agreement facilitating the export of Kenyan products to the UK.

Despite his diplomatic achievements, concerns persist over the unresolved murder case of Agnes Wanjiru, a Kenyan national who was allegedly brutally killed by British soldiers reportedly under the influence of cocaine in Nanyuki, Kenya, in 2012.

Wanjiru’s body was discovered in the septic tank of a hotel two months after she disappeared. The murder gained widespread coverage in the British press following a leaked WhatsApp group chat involving soldiers from the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

The chat revealed disturbing messages, including mocking memes related to murder, hotels, and septic tanks, allegedly shared by some of the soldiers accused of Wanjiru’s murder.

Her family continues to pursue justice, having filed a lawsuit against the Kenyan government last year.

Kenya's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva

Meanwhile, Kenya's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Cleopa Mailu, has concluded his tenure, stepping down from his role.

Mailu, a former Health Minister in the Kenyatta administration, represented Nairobi's interests in various international organisations based in Geneva, Switzerland, including the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

He is renowned for actively advocating for Kenya's interests and participating in decision-making processes.

Kenya's High Commissioner to Uganda

In Uganda, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni bid farewell to the outgoing Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) George Owinow, on Saturday, May 11.

"Kenya and Uganda have longstanding ties and a lot of shared history between us. I wish him good luck in his future endeavours," the Ugandan leader, who is expected to visit Kenya for a state visit this week, shared on the X platform.

Owinow's final task will be overseeing and preparing the ground for Museveni's visit, which aims to ease trade tensions between the two states, caused by an oil import case.

Uganda previously accused Kenya of deliberately stalling its efforts to directly import fuel. Kenya's Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) was accused of denying Uganda National Oil Company a licence to operate as an oil marketing company (OMC) and import fuel through the port of Mombasa. Uganda is yet to withdraw the case filed against Kenya at the East African Court of Justice.

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