Kenya: Government Begins Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants

30 September 2021

The government has commenced a crackdown on foreigners who are in the country illegally, with a majority believed to be Asians.

The Ministry of Interior has announced the exercise will be undertaken by the Department of Immigration and the National Police Service.

A statement issued by Interior Principal Secretary Dr. Karanja Kibicho indicated the number of foreign travelers originating from Pakistan and transiting through the country was alarming hence prompting the operation that should commence immediately.

"In the last four (4) months, Kenya has witnessed a surge in the number of foreign travelers transiting through our international airports. The majority of these travelers have originated from Pakistan and have valid transit visas to Saudi Arabia that are issued on arrival," said Kibicho.

Kibicho also noted there was a high threat of foreigners spreading coronavirus reversing the gains made in the fight against the pandemic.

"The Kenyan Government is however alarmed by the threat of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic posed by the influx of foreign travelers transiting through the country. Subsequently, the Government has ordered an immediate crackdown of foreigners who are in the country illegally."

Moving forward, Kibicho said the government will be forced to restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country.

His comments come days after Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna referred to Asians visiting the country are tourists.

"They are tourists in the country legally and some prefer travelling and staying as families,"

The move by the ministry comes in the wake of an uproar after a large number of Pakistani nationals were spotted at Greatwall Gardens, in Nairobi.

The arrival of these foreigners, however, has been shrouded with secrecy, on Tuesday, a group that wanted to go and buy ice cream in CBD told Nairobi News that they are in the country for only two weeks as they await to proceed to Saudi Arabia where they work.

"We had an option to either stay in Dubai or come to your country and we chose Kenya because it is way cheaper than Dubai," one of them said.

He did not disclose why they chose Kenya only saying that they were told it is better to stay here for two weeks and then fly to Saudi Arabia as they had been vaccinated.

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