Top Foreign Affairs ministry officials bribed for UN seat

Reading Time: 5 minutesAsuspicious letter has surfaced exposing details how Foreign Affairs Political and Diplomatic Secretary Tom Amolo ordered for the luxurious treatment of 25 foreign diplomats in a new bribery spree to help Kenya win coveted seat at the UN Security Council.

Weekly Citizen has established that the Kenyan government through the ministry of Foreign Affairs has embarked on splashing millions of shillings on permanent representatives to the United Nations in a bid to win the non-permanent seat.

Varying undertone of the letter in our possession gives a highlight to the longstanding tension within the Foreign Affairs ministry headed by CS Rachael Omamo and PS Macharia Kamau, with the two bosses said to be already at loggerheads just few weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta swapped the former to the docket.

The letter demanding for special treatment to the envoys was directed 15 officials including ambassadors Tabu Irina (chief protocol), Salim Salim (director UN and multilateral affairs) and Arthur Andambi (Director Middle East).

Other people who also received the letter were James Waweru (Registrar of treaties), Immaculate Wambua (Director Americas), Lindsay Kiptines (Director Asia and Austral Asia as well as Juliet Gicheru who is the deputy director in the legal directorate.

The same was copied to CS Omamo, CS Macharia, Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba and the secretary administration.

However it’s the content of the letter that immediately raised eye brows with keen observers making quick conclusion that it was dictatorial for ambassador Amolo to appear to be arm-twisting the officials in his demand for the envoys to be accorded luxury in the country.

The letter reads in part: ‘ Kenya will host 25 permanent representative from the United Nations and the African Union in Addis Ababa for a seminar on the changing of terrorism and extremism; practical responses from 15th-21st February, 2022 in Nairobi and Mombasa’’.

But it’s rude conclusion left many wondering whether the plan to host the envoys had been contested by some quarters within the ministry as the letter read, ‘ I request your indulgence to assist in enabling us execute this very important assignment . If you cannot do it, just let me know’’. Questions are now being raised why ambassador Amolo had a feeling that the officials who received the letter had an option to find the move difficult yet it was purely government affair.

It’s also not clear the kind of action he could have taken against the officials should they have decided to decline to act on the letter that called for facilitation of good life for the envoys during their stay in the country.

Seemingly acting on the instructive letter, the 25 diplomats landed in the country and were greeted by pure luxury and pampering in high-end hotels both in Nairobi and Mombasa, as Kenya flexes her financial prowess in a duel with Djibouti, also eyeing the same seat at the UN Security Council.

And a shocker to the tax payers, millions of shillings were spent when the diplomats wallowed in pure luxury and some of the luxurious treatments they enjoyed included evening dinner cruise at the magical Tamarind, where cocktails were in plenty from a mixture of vodka, lime, honey and crushed ice, all at the expense of Kenyans braving tough economic times.

The guests who were received by Amolo were also hosted for two days at the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel where the cheapest room is calculated at a whooping sh27, 000.

Inside sources told Weekly Citizen that the diplomats were flown on business class and a Kenya Aiways flight from New York to Nairobi is approximately sh300, 000 one way alone meaning a return ticket for an individual borders sh600,000.

Important to note, in the last two months alone Kenya has play host to at least 45 permanent representatives to the UN as part of strategy to win the two-year non-permanent seat, raising questions why the country must engage in such extravagance to get a seat whose direct benefit is not clear.

Sadly despite heavy spending Kenya has a thin chance of winning the seat with analysts pointing that it would be an upper hill task to beat Djibouti, the country being a Predominantly Muslim just like other 193 members, who are the voters.

The 25-member Security Council is a snapshot of the world after World War II. It has five permanent members, the Big Five —Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. They all have veto power.

The other 10 members are non-permanent, five are elected every year for a two- year term. They must have a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly of 193 members.

The UN has two non-members with observer status, the Holy See and Palestine. They have the right to speak but not to vote.

In the meantime the latest development has only helped expose further deep seated rot within the ministry of foreign affairs, in most cases presided over by the controversial PS Macharia, CAS Ababu Namwamba and the bully ambassador Amolo all said to be the orchestrators of the existing bad blood among staff attached to the sensitive ministry.

They all bulldoze and Amolo is said to be on rampage practicing favoritism and populism in constitution of UNSC campaign team using children of his friends and children of colleagues who are rumoured to be paying him heavy kickbacks.

Those on the know confided in Weekly Citizen that Amolo’s office is jammed with ambassador’s children and that he’s a classic example of an egocentric individual who liked to be praised.

To the effect, he favours those who message his ego by giving them lucrative trips so as to make money while other capable officers are neglected something that has contributed to a generally low morale in the office.

Privy sources said Amolo has been spinning endless lies to his CS and PS about the support he is winning in UN Security Council campaign which to him is a godsend money minting venture.

His accusers are not happy with his trend to deploy political appointees who are supposed to be discharged after tour of duty and a case in point is that of a one Joe Sang.

Sang is by profession a DJ and grossly incompetent but has been hovering around hoping to be deployed as a Director for a directorate within the ministry contrary to the Foreign Service Regulations.

Sources further say that Sang is a close ally of the Deputy President William Ruto through PS Macharia and Amolo.

There’s an interesting talk within the ministry that Amolo squandered hundreds of millions while serving in South Africa and Abuja as High Commissioner and contrary to regulations, would give his SA wife the credit card used by the mission to use for personal shopping.

Others claim that the SA woman after exhausting the credit card leaving the mission penniless, eventually sold everything in his house and went back to South Africa while he was in New York.

Just like Amolo, CAS Namwamba is reported to be another trouble in the ministry following claims that he openly and shamelessly negotiates for self-benefiting trips and handouts from foreign ambassadors in Kenya.

Privy sources are irked that Namwamba travels with security guards and personal assistants to engage in high-level diplomatic engagements which he has no knowledge of.