13 nabbed with fake Kenyan permits in third day of verification of foreigners’ work permits

Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang'i. []

Barely days after the government issued a 60-day ultimatum to expatriates to update their status; State Department of Immigration has netted 13 foreigners with fake work permits.

Yesterday, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i who led the verification exercise at Nyayo House, spoke tough noting appropriate action will be taken against any expatriate found with a fake work permit.

The CS was categorical that by the end of the verification exercise expected to end in July, Kenyans could have some of the jobs held by foreigners.

“You are a site manager? We gave you a permit to be a site manager?  Is it that we do not have site managers in this country?” asked the CS addressing a foreign manager.

In April, the CS in the same vein asked: “Give me one reason why we need to give a permit to someone coming to be an accountant in Kenya or in the case of civil society, why give a permit to a programme officer with the number of graduates who have masters degrees.”

Matiang’i said they will not relent on cracking down on foreigners working illegally in Kenya.

“If we have nabbed thirteen people by the third day there are indeed people with illegal work permits in this country,” he added.

Government’s database shows that only 34, 000 foreign workers in Kenya have legal documentation which is below the number of foreigners in the country.

The Department of Immigration Services is preparing to issue foreigners with foolproof electronic cards as work permits to reduce the paperwork and to improve efficiency.

An electronic system will give the government the statistics on the number and categories of permits issued to foreigners working locally.

Last year, the department issued 8,366 new permits up from 5,851 in 2016 and 7,683 in 2015 and 11,360 in 2012 when stringent immigration policies were introduced.

In 2012, the ministry sought for $2,000 (Sh206,000) per month from any foreigner seeking a working permit.

Also read: Matiang’i gives expatriates 60 days to renew work permits