(Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to
spend five million U.S. dollars in 2018 to deport
foreigners working in the country illegally, up from the
3.6 million dollars spent last year, a senior government
official said on Tuesday.
Secretary Fred Matiang’i told a forum in Nairobi that
some immigration officials are colluding with foreigners
for them to get work permits even when they don’t
"The ongoing work permit verification exercise will
weed out those who are working illegally so that they
can be removed from the country," Matiang’i told the
forum, organized by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA)
and the Ministry of Interior.
The work permit verification exercise began on May 22
and will go on until July 21.
So far 1,972 work permit have been assessed with 13
being identified as fake, he said.
According government records, 34,000 foreigners have
been issued with work permits against a suspected number
of over 100,000 foreign nationals working in the
The government has issued an amnesty for all
foreigners who want to "regularize" their papers during
the period of the verification, Matiang’i said.
"There will be no penalty or sanctions for those who
come forward before the expiry of the 60-day grace
period," he said.
As part of the East African Common Market Protocol,
citizens of the economic bloc will not be required to
pay any fee to get work permits.
The government has formed a multi-agency team to
conduct raids after the expiry of the verification
exercise in order to identify those working illegally in
the country with a view to deporting them, Matiang’i
The verification exercise is meant to address the
current challenges in the work permit regime where
foreigners who don’t meet the criteria have been issued
with licenses to work.
"Our overall objective is to correct some of the
mistakes we have committed in the past so that we have
an orderly country that facilitates economic growth," he
He noted that only those with specialized skills or
investors will be issued with work permits.
Foreign professionals will be required to develop a
work plan to train locals to take over their jobs in two
years’ time, Matiang’i said.
The cabinet secretary said that laxity of enforcement
has led to an influx of foreigners working in the
Gordon Kihalangwa, principal secretary in the
Ministry of Interior, said that the government plans to
have all Kenyans migrate to the e-passport system by
"So far over 750,000 e-passports which have extra
security features have been issued," Kihalangwa said.
He said that in order to cope with the rising costs
of removing aliens from the country, the government
plans to amend the law to ensure that foreigners pay for
their cost of deportation.
"We will ensure that the plan will not violate any
national or international law and at the same time save
taxpayers money so that the government can instead
devote money to fund expenditures in critical sectors
such as health and education," he added.
Kihalangwa said that in order to attract more
investments into the country, immigration authorities
will provide preferential treatment to foreign investors
in terms of issuance of work permits.
"We want to fast track their applications so that we
improve the attractiveness of Kenya as an investment
destination," he said.
Kihalangwa said that the government is currently in
the process of digitizing all immigration files in order
to reduce time taken to process passports and visas.
Carole Kariuki, CEO of KEPSA, said the business
community will work together with the government to
ensure that only qualified foreigners are issued with
As Kenya is a developing country, it will still need
to rely on foreigners with specialist skills to transfer
knowledge to locals, Kariuki said.
over 13,000 illegal immigrants in nine months
ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian authorities said on Tuesday
that 13,393 undocumented immigrants were arrested in the
nine months to March.
Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Hamad Masauni
disclosed the figure during a parliamentary session in
the country’s capital, Dodoma.
The immigrants were nabbed in an operation that
started in July 2017 and lasted through March this year.
Masauni said 2,815 of the undocumented immigrants
were sent to court while 117 others were slapped with
"We imprisoned 429 of them while 6,316 were forced to
return to their respective countries," he said,
responding to a question a lawmaker.
According to Masauni, 1,353 undocumented immigrants
were set free after meeting the requirements of being
Minister for the Home Affairs Mwigulu Nchemba said
east African governments have agreed on working together
to curb illegal migrantion.