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Why Obama left behind Uhuru’s Sh300, 000 gifts

Details have emerged why US President Barack Obama did not carry the gifts presented by his host President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta had collected two portraits done by pencil artist Collins Okello and a sculpture of an elephant that he presented as gifts to President Obama.

The two portraits together with the elephant sculpture are said to be worth $3,000.

Photos show President Obama flashing a smile when he was shown the gifts at State House, Nairobi, by his host. He however had to leave the artwork behind because American laws forbid him from accepting gifts from other heads of state.

Gifts to an American President must first be cleared by the department in charge of gifts to the head of state and other state officers.

The portraits drawn by by pencil artist Collins Okello.
The portraits drawn by by pencil artist Collins Okello.

State House Digital Director Dennis Itumbi told our sister newspaper Taifa Leo that the process of channeling the gifts through the respective department has already started.

American Presidents are only allowed to receive gifts from citizens as well as their family members, but the gifts from family members are limited to a certain value.

Mama Sarah Obama’s three legged stool gift to President Obama is considered appropriate.

The two portraits that President Kenyatta had presented to President Obama were drawn by Collins Okello. He is a pencil artist who rose to fame after gifting President Kenyata a portrait in which he had donned the Commander in Chief attire.

The first portrait was of President Obama, while the second one was of the United States first family together with their dog pets Bo and Sunny.