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OUTGOING DIPLOMATS BLOCK NEW APPOINTEES.

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Most of Kenya’s new diplomats have not reported to their stations because the outgoing ones have declined to hand over, almost three months after the end of their contracts. About ten outgoing envoys have not returned and are trying to lobby technocrats at the Office of the President and powerful relatives to extend their stay abroad. Some are said to have received ‘verbal extensions’ of their contracts. Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula defended the outgoing diplomats saying some have delayed reporting because they are "still undergoing induction courses". Three-month wait But he also admits that "I would not really know the details" of what has been happening with the new postings because his role in the naming of new high commissioners ended when they were named and what remains is "administrative issues" in the purview of the Permanent Secretary. President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila concluded consultations for their appointments and posting almost three months ago followed by extensive induction. An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who prefers not to be named, confirmed that after the appointments outgoing high commissioners received cable notifications instructing them to return to Kenya by end of May. "At the end of May, most of them had not returned. There was no explanation and the ministry extended the deadline to June 30," said the official. The minister says he is not aware of the dates and deadlines. One high commissioner-designate has confirmed to The Standard "the courses ended more than a month ago and we have been idle since then." Wetang’ula denies these claims and reports that outgoing High Commissioner to Zambia "has just come back."

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