Asians Entering Kenya are Not Tourists - Govt Changes Tune 

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    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (right) and his PS Karanja Kibicho (left) at a public event in 2019
    File
  • The government has changed tune on the huge number of Asian nationals that have been spotted in Kenya in recent weeks.

    In a statement on Wednesday, September 29, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho explained the videos circulating online showing a huge number of Asian nationals being ferried to city estates with suitcases after Kenyans demanded answers from the government.

    Kibicho stated that the majority of these travellers originated from Pakistan and have valid Transit Visas to Saudi Arabia that are issued on arrival.

    Further, the PS admitted that in the past four months Kenya has seen an increase in the number of Asian nationals transiting. 

    Asians stranded in Nairobi
    Asians stranded in Nairobi
    Twitter

    The new statement came after a section of Kenyans poured cold water on a statement by Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna on Monday, September 27, indicating that the Asian nationals were international tourists.

    Kibicho went on to order a crackdown on foreign nationals who are in the country without proper documentation.

    In a statement to newsrooms Kibicho declared that the crackdown will be carried out by the Department of Immigration and the National Police Service.

    The Interior PS stated that the government will be strict going forward and they will restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country.

    He noted that the government was worried over the number of Asians that or on transit in the country due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

    "Subsequently, the Government has ordered an immediate crackdown of foreigners who are in the country without proper documentation. The exercise will be undertaken by the Department of Immigration and the National Police Service," the statement read in part.

    "Going forward, the Government will restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country to levels that do not pose a risk to Kenya's national interests," it continued.

    Kenyans had questioned whether the Asian nationals spotted at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and an estate in Athi River were asylum seekers from Afghans fleeing the Taliban. 

    Oguna had claimed that the individuals who have arrived in Kenya in the past few weeks have legal documents, showing that they are in the country on holiday.

    “They are tourists in the country legally and some prefer travelling and staying as families,” Oguna stated. 

    The government clarified this after videos of Asians landing in the country went viral, causing so much uproar on social media platforms, most of them questioning their mission. 

    Government spokesperson, Cyrus Oguna.
    An Undated Image of Government spokesperson, Cyrus Oguna.
    PSCU