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The KSh. 600,000 instant Kenyans, visas and Kenyan Somalis

In the past month, I've been to three countries outside my home country, Kenya - Sweden, South Africa and Turkey.

I remember making one observation to bloggers I travelled with to South Africa - that embassies consistently have lots of people of Somali origin applying for visas. In fact, you are likely to mistakenly think that the embassies are outside Kenya.

See, Kenya has 40 million people, and lots of tribes, including its own Kenyan Somali community. The Somali aren't among the top 10 largest tribes in Kenya. It therefore does not make statistical sense that they are among the top, if not the top community that applies for visas on Kenyan passports.

Yes, I did get curious and try to look if they might be refugees applying for visas in Kenya. Rarely, all of them seemed to have Kenyan passports.

The only plausible explanation then was that Somalis, who account for a large percentage of the business community in Kenya, were applying for business visas. But again, sometimes you see families including old people applying for visas.

Then today, in hindsight of the terrorist attack on Westgate, a person who had qualified to become Kenyan by virtue of been married to one for more than 10 years posted his experience at immigration.

Fuck all the rules in the Kenyan law about immigration procedures. There's only one rule here, and it is not in the books.

You pay KSh. 600,000 ($7,000) and you automatically qualify to become a Kenyan citizen. Who pays such obscene sums to become Kenyan citizens? The Al shabaab and Somalis, as in, citizens of Somalia!

You can read the account on immigration procedures here https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=660359313977142&id=100000092394503&refid=8&_ft_=qid.5928966251021979209:mf_story_key.6525829731805437171.

There is more.

Ethnic Kenyans Somalis are the most harassed Kenyans. They are suspected of being in their country of birth illegally, and getting a National ID or Passport is said to be very difficult for them. These are the people who pay for the rich foreigners who look like them.  They play the role of suspect.

Again, it was once narrated to me that Kenyans, being part of The Commonwealth, did once not need to apply for visas to visit the UK. Then immigrants from third countries holding Kenyan passports flooded the UK. The country then decided any one travelling to the UK on a Kenyan passport needed to be vetted through a visa application.

Thus, to become an instant Kenyan, it will cost you a bargain price of KSh. 600,000. And woe to you if you are a Kenyan born of the Somali community, you are forced to bear the burden of our sins, and greed.

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