Andrew Onyuna Ochieng, a Kenyan who has been part of the consular team at the Kenyan Embassy in the US had died.
Reports indicate the Onyuna died on Saturday evening at Gaithersburg, Maryland.
“The Embassy regrets to announce the passing away of Mr Andrew Onyuna Ochieng on Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Mr Onyuna was a member of the Embassy’s Consular team. He was a dedicated, hardworking and dependable team player,” the statement read in part.
The deceased offered diplomatic advice to a lot of Kenyans in the US.
Details of his burial will be communicated later. Plans are underway to have his body flown back to Kenya.
Onyuna lived in the US for many years and established cordial ties with Kenyans living and working in the US.
His death comes as the new Kenyan Consulate in Los Angeles begins to process epassports.
the Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC told Kenyans in the US that they will get their new generation passports in Los Angeles.
“The Kenya Consulate in Los Angeles has been approved by the Government to process the new generation ePassports,” statement by Embassy read.
It added that it will announce when these services will commence.
“As we embark on the process of setting up the infrastructure, we call on Kenyans to be patient as you will be advised on when the ePassport system in Los Angeles is up and running,” the Mission stated.
This follows a petition by a US-based Kenyan, Paddy Mwembu who in September 2020 lodged a petition with the Office of the President seeking to have an e-passport centre established in Los Angeles.
Mwembu who lives in California said that his petition was aimed at bringing down the hassle of Kenyans who travel to Washington DC for immigration services.
In his petition, he argued that almost half of Kenyans in America live on the west coast which further compounds his bid to have an e-centre in Los Angeles.
“Considering the distance and the cost of travel to Washington DC for processing of e-passport biometrics only, [it] fails to make economic sense. The distance to Washington DC is extreme and the total cost is prohibitive,” he said in the petition according to Nation.
“As an alternative, e-passport biometrics processing can be performed at the consulate in Los Angeles. The office is fully functional, appropriately staffed and has the capability to handle e-passport processing,” he added.