Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dar mpaka moro (part 2)

This post has been continued from Dar mpaka moro (part 1)

Exchange Rates: 1 Tsh = 0.58 Kshs , 1 Ksh =17.2 Tshs (note to divide rather than multiply fractions/decimals)

Arusha is the capital of the East African Community, and might be referred to as Tanzania's third most significant city. Arusha also marks the end of Tanzania's dry region, quite small compared to Kenya's expansive Northern and Eastern regions.

You will also notice the presence of Traffic lights at major junctions and round abouts, a difference from Kenya's preferred police controlled junctions. However, motorists will at time jump the lights. Be warned though that Traffic Police might be present and will not hesitate to fine you. Overlapping , a common aspect of road behaviour in Kenya is taken seriously in Tanzania, it may land you a Ksh. 10,000 fine and/or a jail term.

Our bus did not stop over at Arusha, which though is quite a large town. Arusha is on the slopes of Mount Meru, one of Tanzania's m…

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes, happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voi…

Coronavirus still proves Africa's Local Manufacturing Problem

For many people in Africa, more so Sub-Saharan Africa, local manufacturing is a concept we are very much in love with. We wish that our countries manufactured 90 percent of what we used locally, and by doing so, our feeling is that our countries would become developed countries.


Of course, manufacturing 90% of all locally consumed products means we would only import 10%. Early in school, we are taught that 1+3=4, and likewise 4-3=1.

Equally, if by manufacturing 90% locally means that we import very little, then the assumption is that importing very little means we manufacture a lot locally. And so, many people call for the banning of imports to promote local manufacturing.

Most governments understand that banning imports is hard, and so what they do is raise taxes on them. But interesting enough, raising taxes on imports does not lead to increased local manufacturing. Instead, it leads to a decrease in local manufacturing.

In 1981, manufacturing contributed to a quarter of sub-Sa…

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not. 
Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school.

A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter, probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money, it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus. 
This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you could withdraw your pocket money next to the kibanda where you had your one meal of the day.
The peanut butter though is a far cry from the peanut butter you remember. It does not taste that good, and turns into some sort of stone barely third way through the jar. The stone is not the kind that …