Kenyatta sideswipes SA over visa restrictions

2015-05-19 08:15
Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta threw down the gauntlet to South Africa over its visa restrictions by inviting Africans to come and work in Kenya.

“Let me say on behalf of the people of Kenya that our doors are open to you. We welcome any African who comes to visit us to work and learn as long as they are happy to obey our laws,” he said.

His comments came as South Africa’s government was clamping down on illegal foreigners and tightening visa restrictions in its bid to curb xenophobia.

More expensive processes and tighter visa restrictions for Kenyans coming to South Africa, instituted last year, have been among the contentious issues that Kenyan officials hoped to discuss with South African authorities during this week’s visit.

It led to tit-for-tat regulations from Kenya’s side. These were dropped ahead of discussions that never happened.

“Kenya is happy on a reciprocal basis to issue African visitors with visas on arrival at our ports of entry,” Kenyatta told the opening of the Pan-African Parliament’s sixth ordinary sitting in Midrand on Monday.

Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reported on Monday that Kenyan officials hoped to discuss the matter with their South African counterparts.

Currently South Africans in transit or visiting Kenya for less than 30 days do not require a visa, but the conditions for Kenyans have been tightened and they also have to pay a service charge of more than R700.

Kenyans in South Africa who need to renew their visa are required to return to Kenya to do this, something they are unhappy about.

Kenyatta said: “The building of bridges between our countries and people [in Africa] is a delicate task.”

He said it required virtue for countries “to resist the conflict trail of religious, ethnic and xenophobic conflict which we see flaring up in different pockets”.

He added that cooperation with other countries was also important for security reasons.

“For us in Kenya terrorism matters and vulnerability in this regard makes it important for us to forge close ties with our neighbours and be in tune with developments relating to this threat in other parts of the world.

“The radicalisation of young people extends between national and even continental borders.”

He said this required solidarity and cooperation.

“This solidarity cannot be achieved if we do not break away from the artificial boundaries created by our colonial masters.”

Read more on:    uhuru kenyatta  |  kenya  |  visas

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.