The following transcript is of an April 14, 2010 debate on the floor of the Kenyan National Assembly. The question under discussion concerns the repatriation of Kenyan artifacts which were removed from the country by colonialists. The Ministers want to know what is being done to return the artifacts, or failing their return, how and when Kenya will be compensated for their loss. They argue that museums in the US and elsewhere have earned money on these artifacts, thus those countries are indebted to Kenya. Importantly, in 2006, when Barack Obama visited Kenya, strategized with, and campaigned on behalf of Raila Odinga, the Senator also promised to help with the return of artifacts to Kenya or to seek financial compensation.
The most amazing question asked on the floor is by Dr. Bonny Khalwale, of the Ikolomani Constituency, and concerns the “repatriation” of Barack Obama! Dr. Khalwale’s remarks are highlighted in red in one of the paragraphs below the fold.
If I was allowed a vote in the Kenyan National Assembly, I would happily vote yea for repatriating Barack Obama to his “home country” (0:45). What say you?
Dr. Khalwale: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has told us that the office of the then Senator Obama gave him a lot of assistance. That is very good to hear. Could he tell us what commitment the same office made by way of compensation to this country because those artefacts in those museums have been attracting visitors who were paying to view them? What commitment did they make about compensation and more importantly, the biggest artefact in the USA today that belongs to this country is one Barrack Obama. How does he intend to repatriate himself or part of the money that is realized from all the royalties that he is attracting across the whole world?
The Assistant Minister for Roads (Dr. Machage): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member right to refer to the President of the USA as an artefact? Mr. Speaker: Dr. Khalwale, you are out of order! The President of the USA cannot be classified as an artefact. You should withdraw and apologize. Dr. Khalwale: Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I withdraw and apologize, may I clarify that this was not mischief. In one of the museums in USA
Repatriate- To restore or return to the country of birth citizenship or origin