Embassy’s Kenyatta Day Invitations: Statement By ODM-Scandinavia

The Orange Democratic Movement in Scandinavia (ODM-S) has learnt with great bitterness that the Kenyan Ambassador to Scandinavia H.E. Mrs Purity Muhindi never sent out invitation letters to all Kenyans in Stockholm for the Kenyatta day reception scheduled for Saturday 20th October at Kista between 17.00 hrs and 20.00 hrs. Instead, she sent invitation letters to selective Kenyans in Sweden.

Our understanding is that Kenyatta day is a National holiday in Kenya and as such, every Kenyan is entitled to be part of the celebrations be they in Kenya or abroad. The Kenyan Embassy is the official representative of the Kenyan government in Scandinavia and, naturally, one would expect that when inviting Kenyans to a function like Kenyatta day, the Embassy would be sensitive enough to notice that selective invitations to the function would not just have far reaching and negative effects but would also be counterproductive and undemocratic.

ODM-Scandinavia has come into contact with several Kenyans who have expressed concerns that they have not been invited to the function. Majority of these Kenyans are looking for explanations and as a leading Kenyan Opposition Party in Scandinavia, ODM-Scandinavia’s Executive committee thinks that the Party should take up the matter with the Ambassador and question the Ambassador’s real intentions.

ODM-Scandinavia calls upon the Kenyan Ambassador H.E Mrs Purity Muhindi to “act Nationally” especially when it comes to National issues. All Kenyans are equal regardless of their ethnic backgrounds and inviting some Kenyans and leaving others out of the Kenyatta day reception amounts to discrimination.

We therefore call upon the Embassy to revise its strategy of selective invitation of Kenyans to this year’s Kenyatta day by inviting everybody.

The Embassy might argue that it does not have the contacts of all Kenyans in Sweden. Our view is that Kenyans in Stockholm have a well established media which reaches majority of Kenyans and which the Embassy could exploit to make it clear that all Kenyans are welcome to the function with or without invitation letters.

To invite Kenyans selectively at Kenyatta day is divisive and uncalled for. The Kenyan government is paying for the reception and therefore, there is no justification whatsoever as to why some Kenyans should be left out of the function.

We hope that Ambassador Purity will notice the disadvantages of her current choice of sending letters selectively and possibly act before Saturday when the reception is scheduled. Kenyans must stand up to be counted in the condemnation of the way in which the Ambassador has acted especially on this issue.

We, as Kenyans, are one people and divisive tactics that will split the Kenyan community should not be tolerated by any progressive Kenyan at home or abroad. ODM-Scandinavia encourages Kenyans to stand up for their rights by attending the function with or without invitation letters.

Mr. Martin Ngatia
Vice chairperson
ODM-Scandinavia Executive committee
Stockholm – October 17th 2007