Former US President Barack Obama is set to resettle in Kenya for at least a year as Special Envoy for US Diplomacy (SED), a deployment which he said “makes me truly grateful as I pay tribute to the land of my father- and forefathers”.
Nominated by President Joe Biden, who was Obama’s Vice President between 2009 and 2016, the former president, codenamed “Renegade”, was confirmed by The US Senate, which is increasingly exploring the possibility of sending retired Presidents to countries of their ancestry.
According to The Standard, Obama is expected to arrive in Kenya on June 13 for what his team calls “a reconnaissance trip”, has indicated his desire to set up an office outside the capital Nairobi when he finally lands.
This, he says, will help him better understand devolution and promote coordination among counties before he can seek an enhanced diplomatic partnership between Kenya and the US.
With speculators saying property prices could triple within no time, mooted counties of his stay initially included Siaya, which is the home to Alego, in which sits Kogelo village, where his grandmother (and extended family) have lived for years.
Others were Kajiado, due to its proximity to Nairobi, Lamu and Mandera, where he was expected to see firsthand the intermittent threat of The Al Shabaab, thus better advising the US on best, and prompt, actions to take.
But it is increasingly appearing that Obama could settle in Nyeri with locals noticing a grand, highly secured, ultramodern block, cryptically labelled “Yad Sloof Lirpa” whose use the county government could not disclose, coming up behind Governor Mutahi Kahiga’s official residence. The term is an old time slogan associated with alma mater, Occidental College, Columbia University.
Obama will, however, spend much of his time in Nairobi, where he is expected to shoot his much anticipated documentary “In The Land of My Father”, enlisting, in part, Morgan Freeman and Sir David Attenborough for the narration.