Racism In Australia: Tribulations Of A Former African Diplomat – PART4

Today I would like to observe that while the issue of judicial review on my application for asylum in 2009 required my sanity and full attention from the point I had filed application at the Federal Magistrates Court onwards, some other busybodies were invariably preoccupied with engaging in acts amounting to domestic violence. These hostile acts were extended to my daughter, son, and I to a point my underage daughter had to be admitted at the Canberra hospital for several days in 2008. It was at this point I felt I was left with no other option but to concurrently seek legal aid from Legal Aid ACT office to offer legal resources first towards issuance of Domestic Violence Orders to protect my children from suffering more psychological harm perpetrated by someone familiar.

Through a family support worker from Communities @ Work, I initially managed to secure tentative legal representation on the matter DV08/797 (refer to #preamble) from a law firm in Canberra. After the first appearance in Court accompanied by a legal practitioner, the court issued interim domestic violence orders against the respondent. I was indeed later disappointed when after this first success in seeking justice against hostile acts directly impacting on the psychological well-being of my children, I received communication from Legal Aid ACT in writing informing my request for legal resources to enable for further legal representation on this matter had been declined.

On making further enquiries, I was informed on phone Legal Aid ACT had received advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs And Trade that my two children and I are not supposed to be in Australia. Subsequent explicit communication from Legal Aid ACT stated that considering I would soon be departing Australia for good as reliably established, any positive court outcome on the issue would neither be useful to my two children nor to me.  My further response to Legal Aid ACT to appeal for reconsideration of my application for legal aid, including formal intervention from the law firm were both declined. I was, therefore, forced to represent myself in court to obtain the requisite restraining orders against ex-partner. A soft copy of my letter of appeal to Legal Aid ACT  is appended below:

……………

6 March 2009

The Chief Executive Officer,

Legal Aid ACT,

4 Mort Street,

Canberra City.

Dear Sir/Madam

APPLICATION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION TO REFUSE LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN THE MATTER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST THE RESPONDENT

Your letter ref. 08F307101X of 16 February 2009 refers.

I hereby forward my submission on appeal for reconsideration of the decision to refuse me legal assistance to seek Final Orders against the Respondent in the matter of Domestic Violence pending before the Family Court.

I would be grateful if my appeal for reconsideration would be granted.

Yours,

(signed)
ELIJAH HIRIBAE MALIBE

THE APPLICANT

Encl’d

………………..

Original hard copy correspondences written to the same institution by the law firm is a subject of the documents being withheld by Australian commonwealth officials in my yet to be returned suitcase and other personal items taken from me in 2013.

In my submission to Legal Aid ACT office, I pointed out a number of issues that made the securing of final domestic violence orders a priority. If only to stop the respondent from destabilizing my sanity given previous difficult conduct in collusion with unscrupulous Australian commonwealth government officials that has resulted to loss of my employment. If only to stop the respondent from engaging in unacceptable conduct that had adversely impacted on the psychological well-being of my children. If only to stop for good by association or otherwise, any further contact between respondent and my two children and I, whether here or anywhere else on this planet.

Secondly. When I first arrived in Canberra with my family on 4 August 2006 up to the time I was unfairly dismissed from the High Commission in June 2008, the Kenyan government had not concluded any arrangement with the Australian government to employ spouses of diplomats posted to host country. This was in line with attendant Conventions governing diplomatic and Consular relations. Since Kenya did not accord spouses of Australian diplomats a similar opportunity while serving in Kenya, it was obvious reciprocity would have to be the rule of thumb. I had briefed respondent about this position and informed her to halt her plans to seek gainful employment until the matter was mutually settled. Respondent, however, defied my advice and unilaterally started looking for employment, possibly under the impression I simply did not want her to work. It was when the respondent had secured an appointment for an interview [at a popular department store] and was headed to attend that interview that I decided to report the matter to the High Commissioner so as to avoid getting into trouble with Australian government authorities.

The High Commissioner summoned respondent to his office and personally took her through the Australian Protocol Guide. The Guide was explicit respondent could not engage in gainful employment without the express permission of DFAT. Her compliance to this provision was widely meant to safeguard our household without causing undue harassment and irreparable damage. Compliance to this scenario was also meant to protect the image of the High Commission and by extension, the image of Kenya government as relates to adherence by diplomatic staff and members of their household in host country to requisite diplomatic etiquette.

As though the briefing by the High Commissioner was not convincing, respondent unilaterally sought an appointment with the Chief of Protocol at the Department of Foreign Affairs And Trade in 2007, which the department granted without first contacting the Kenyan High Commission about the matter. Or so I was made to believe at the time. Respondent then went ahead to hold discussions with the Chief of Protocol at the Protocol Directorate of DFAT. As the principal member of our household, I wasn’t made aware of such contact either by DFAT or by the High Commission. Neither was I made aware of the content of the discussions that transpired between ex-partner and Australian commonwealth government officials. I was simply rendered helpless as respondent ignored all counsel to extent of confidently telling me she cared less about the consequences of her actions and that I should leave her alone. This renewed attitude, zeal, and determination from ex-partner following her appointment with the Chief of Protocol at DFAT demoralized me as it obviously put my career on a collision course with my superiors in Nairobi. Respondent persisted with her resolve to defy any useful advice from me and went ahead to secure two gainful employments much as obtaining a tax file number issued by Australian commonwealth government officials. Serving diplomats do not have tax file numbers since serving diplomats do not remit taxes to host country. She had also claimed that the High Commissioner, Amb. John Lepi Lanyasunya, was aware of her employment. Not to mention how much this attitude offended me, Nairobi was made aware of this situation by the same High Commissioner, Amb. John Lepi Lanyasunya. My career was from that point onwards deliberately put on the spotlight as I was unfairly considered an embarrassment to the High Commission as well as to the government of Kenya. This is ostensibly for failing to reign in on a member of my household much more for presumed failure by a member of my household to abide by diplomatic etiquette while I served in Australia. Surprisingly though, the very efficient officials stationed at DFAT, who were invariably able to monitor and pursue me at every other turn I made in the region, never raised any alarm with either the High Commission or with me regarding issue of obtaining a tax file number by ex-spouse which subsequently enabled her to secure gainful employment considering her status prior to June 2008.

Thirdly. The children and I started December 2008 with high expectations due to fact that my daughter was scheduled to graduate on 16 December 2008 from primary education. Although we did not have money at the time, the management of the school had agreed to exempt us from any payments towards the event, if only to provide an opportunity for my children and I to attend the occasion. On Sunday 14 December 2008 I took the children to the kids’ park where we had some fun together. Being the week that my daughter would be graduating, we were all upbeat for the occasion. Come Monday 15 December 2008, I prepared the kids in the morning for school. Both of them came back from school at around 4.30p.m. I had already prepared dinner. I served the boy while the girl said she would eat later. I then went to my backyard for some physical workouts at a humbling personal home gym. At that point, I saw my daughter come out of the house with garbage in a paper bag. She threw that in the garbage bin. The girl then went back to the house and after a few minutes came out again with a plastic paper bag, which I assumed was more rubbish she was taking to the garbage bin. However, after my gym session around 5.00 p.m., I realized the girl was missing and asked the boy whether he had an idea where her sister was. I took son with me to go and look for the sister in the neighbourhood but could not trace her.

As I wondered whether to call police and report a missing child, a phone call came from Child Care and Protection Services. The official informed me my daughter was at the police station. The official confirmed she was headed there and would contact me with further details. I was later contacted and told that my daughter had indicated to authorities she wanted to go and spend time with now ex-stepmother. I was also told that if her request was not granted, the girl had said she would harm herself. This was so unlike her. This matter got so serious at the time to the point the girl had to be taken to Canberra hospital, where she was admitted for observation for about 8 days.

My son and I went to visit the girl at the hospital in the morning of 16 December 2008, the day of her graduation. While at the hospital, I received a phone call from the School asking about the whereabout of the girl as she had not reported to school. After I explained what had happened the previous evening, I was informed the girl had on 15 December 2008, been upbeat during the morning session. That in the afternoon of 15 December 2008, respondent had visited the school and had had a lengthy discussion with the girl. The school further informed that after respondent left, school authorities noticed the girl had become moody to worrying levels to teachers and staff.

First, respondent did not have any form of permission to visit my daughter at school. This is because respondent had informed Australian authorities she did not want any form of association with my family when she left household in September 2008. The school regretted respondent was allowed to see my daughter unaware she would cause the girl distress. I do not blame the school for what happened. I never anticipated respondent would visit my daughter at school or have secret phone contact with her during school time in view of fact that respondent has moved on with her life. In addition, respondent had told me she did not want my children to call her mum. She had personally given the boy similar instructions, to the disbelief of the child who was only five. Besides, I had not given the school interim directives relating to respondent to not contact my children at school because it never occurred to me she would.

Indeed, respondent was aware my daughter would be graduating from Year 6 on the 16 December 2008. To the best of my knowledge, therefore,  respondent deliberately schemed her visit to the school to coincide with the eve of the graduation ceremony. As established from disclosure from the school as well as from the girl, it was clear respondent engaged in such conduct with the sole purpose of poisoning my daughter’s mind against me. Respondent had also asked the girl to pack her staff when she gets back to the house so she could go live with respondent. It is certainly respondent’s visitation of my daughter at school that influenced the girl to go to the police station against her wish. Apparently, respondent then refused to accept my daughter’s imposed quest to live with her as promised. Respondent had been  contacted by authorities regarding the girl’s request but respondent apparently declined. This apparent betrayal to the girl again caused her more anguish. This is because the girl could not accept from ACT police the proposition respondent had been contacted and had indicated she did not want the girl at her new residential address.

Surprisingly, respondent capitalized on this scenario during conferencing on issue of domestic violence orders at the Magistrates Court. She asserted I was the cause of my daughter’s hospitalisation. The part that hurts most is fact that respondent caused daughter, son and I psychological stress when we could not attend the girl’s graduation ceremony on 16 December 2008. Considering all the effort, rehearsals at school, and preparation at home for the occasion. Not to mention how the girl’s absence from the event impacted on her friends and on family friends at the school. This was a day we had all anticipated to attend. Due to respondent’s unrestrained manipulation and lack of restraining orders, she had certainly added more injury to the trauma the family was already going through. The three of us missed out on a very special occasion that only comes once in the lifetime of every child’s school calendar.

Suffices to state there is no bigger offending behaviour amongst couples than for now ex-partner to have deliberately contemplated the sacking and loss of my source of livelihood as the breadwinner in the family. She remorselessly abandoned the children to move on at a very challenging moment for the family. There certainly is no bigger offending behaviour in a union of two than for respondent to have abandoned the children in the manner she did. We have certainly suffered harsh living conditions facilitated by her manipulative character and failure to honour her word of mouth undertaking relating to family finances.

It is much more offending behaviour amongst couples for one partner to peddle rumours and unfounded allegations simultaneously and constantly misleading the neighbourhood. To misinform the children on crucial matters of life with a view to causing disharmony between them and I in pursuit of personal interest is simply unbearable. I certainly considered such dispensation to have no bearing whatsoever on the provision of care and protection of basic rights and interests of children. Indeed, respondent didn’t have to take me for a ride in order to facilitate the lose of my employment. For her to involve my daughter in our adult issues by telling her half-truths meant to manipulate and cause the girl to distrust me is conduct no affected parent would ever allow to occur again.

Indeed, the proposition by respondent that she has had the welfare of the children at heart while her selfish acts have depleted the family’s financial resources while leaving her personal fortune back in Kenya secured is certainly unacceptable conduct. This simply is conduct which has exposed the children to an abrupt and inconvenient change of lifestyle. Obviously I have had to contend with this change of lifestyle as a single parent without gainful employment. In addition, I struggle to reassure the kids of a brighter future ahead once these matters are sorted out, now a decade down the line. Our situation has definitely left the children more confused as I figure out how to start afresh in the middle of extended ruthless betrayal even after these matters are finally resolved if they ever would.

It is also instrumental at this point to appreciate fact that while respondent had been granted legal aid to defend her character against issuance of final restraining orders, I, the applicant on the other hand had been denied the same facility to protect the children from the respondent’s exploitative and opportunistic tendencies. Thus, considering respondent’s propensity for making false promises then conveniently turning around to capitalize on the upshot of such disposition as a means to achieving her egocentric ends, it is unlikely respondent would not continue to exhibit these traits to my family in the near future if not restrained by court orders from doing so.

I have certainly been deeply concerned with respondent’s penchant for taking every available opportunity to poison my daughter’s mind to revolt against me. This inclination, if allowed to continue unchecked, was bound to end up reversing the gains so far made by way of counselling to address the impact of years of a manipulative and a vicious cycle of abuse, particularly to my unsuspecting underage daughter. Thus, the benefits of Final Orders to the children and I far outweighed any other considerations respondent and those behind her motivation may have had in mind when it was impressed upon Legal Aid ACT that any positive court outcome on the issue would neither be useful to my two children nor to me.

It is no secret Australian commonwealth government officials at DFAT have explicitly claimed there was no outcome on the matter DV08/797 alleging I had withdrawn the matter from the magistrates court. What a disgrace to openly jeopardise the welfare and protection of children under the scenario that prevailed at the time I had sought legal resources to protect children against harm. Such careless allegation made behind my back to a decision making entity is in this day and age such a low act, no sane person would rationalize. Indeed, it is now clear officials from the Australian Federal Police are using this issue to continue to deny my daughter and I any work rights in Australia as a form of punishment and blackmail for not towing their line. This is because while they claim on one hand resolution of my ‘status‘ in Australia is still pending with them, the same officials have on the other hand impressed upon me of a ‘wife’ and another ‘son’ living elsewhere within Australia long after the circumstances described herein have made any form of relationship with respondent untenable. This is harassment, which should stop forthwith. Because of this scenario, it is clear there technically would be no way forward on this issue of ‘my status’ in Australia. This is due to fact that the same woman my detractors want to force upon me as a ‘wife’ when all everyone else sees is a non-existent marital status, is the same person I have vowed to neither have a relationship with again nor allow anywhere near my children given her past record with my family as described herein. This is the stalemate in this matter – a decade down the line. Of course, notwithstanding the numerous federal court decisions, including decision from Australia’s highest court to refer the matter of my 2009 as well as 2013 applications for asylum respectively to the department of immigration for reconsideration. I am indeed a single parent with a daughter and one son in Australia, both living with me under the same roof.

Lastly. Indication is now rife the Protective Service of the Australian Federal Police intends to impose on me matters surrounding a different immigration file dating back to 2010. This is based on variation of details first without having adequately notified me of a meeting/interview and subsequent change of file prior to soliciting my signature when I last turned up for an appointment explicitly scheduled on 5 February 2016 under the guise of fortnight reporting to compliance officers at DIAC. Neither have these officials made me aware prior to changing the file to one of 2010 on 5 February 2016 of fact that issues surrounding immigration file for 2013 may actually have been concluded a while ago. Explicit indication by these officials that I ‘voluntarily presented to them as a BVE holder’ on 5 February 2016 when they had actually passed me printouts of previous visa documentation issued in 2013 (as though I had asked for such documentation) when I went to report on 5 February 2016 as required is truly unbelievable much as it is fraudulent.  Why these officers keep playing around with my mind while wasting my time in the process as though they own me, certainly is a matter that’s not only degrading but hateful as well.

Indeed continued denial of work rights in Australia from deliberate failure to resolve the amorphous issue of ‘status’ certainly contravenes article 7 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), because the work restrictions imposed on me since June 2008 to date combined with the minimal services’ support has resulted in destitution. For heaven’s sake, I had a salary, allowances, a career, and other remunerations when I first arrived in Australia lawfully.

Which leads me to ask concerned members from the Protective Service of the Australian Federal Police as well as the other senior commonwealth government officials at DFAT. What on earth makes you believe you reserve an unfettered right to bump into my life anytime you feel like. What really makes you believe you are above Australian law to engage in deliberate acts that infringe on my dignity as an individual. If not hate and petty jealousies as reflected by issues captured in the aide memoir compiled after a series of meetings of a collusive ‘tripartite committee’ comprising Amb. John Lepi Lanyasunya, DFAT, and Nairobi. Notwithstanding fact that I am from a third world country, which I appreciate just as much. Rules of natural justice certainly shouldn’t discriminate. Even when you can successfully argue the case that Australia is your country so I either play by your game (as previously asked to ‘help’ so I can be ‘helped’) or I continue dancing to my own African tune on foreign land. Indeed, I can’t stop you from playing your mind games no matter my personal views. This dispensation certainly is distasteful as much as it appears to give these officials some form of pleasure to the extent I do not see any conclusion in the near future to this predicament. Among other controversies, I simply can’t ‘help’ you explain the circumstances under which an Australian diplomatic visa was issued on an ordinary Kenyan passport as explained in #preamble of my previous posts when the original request from sending country was for issuance of a dependent’s visa. Talk of a ‘miracle visa’ appending itself where it doesn’t belong.

Otherwise I really can’t imagine of any other reason at this time to exhaustively explain this experience apart from the certainty of fact that racism and arrogance are surely two sides of the same coin. Indeed, I personally believe many more civilised individuals from within and without would share my disappointment at the sheer level of impunity and shamelessness that government officials from a first world economy would pursue egocentric inclinations of the magnitude described so far in #preamble, #part1, #part2, #part3 and herein. I wonder whether someone really appreciates the implication of failure to safeguard a country’s image as a public servant while engaging in such crudity and stereotyping for an extended period of time on a victim as unsuspecting as I. I held so much trust and hope when I first arrived in Australia.

I think I’d have to restrain myself and stop here for now. What I am experiencing in Australia from this super class of officials can’t be described as fate but rather a way of life which is so much indifferent, it’s so hard to rationally comprehend using contemporary social parameters. Period.

Definitely, should I live to see another day, I would certainly continue on this journey.

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