Kenya vows illegal alien crackdown

January 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua said on Tuesday that the ongoing swoops of foreigners living illegally in Kenya will continue in all parts of the country.

He told Capital News that it was a matter of national security and no person would be allowed to live in the country without the right papers and with the right intentions.

“The reasons we are conducting the swoops is to make sure that those supposed to be in refugee camps are in refugee camps (and) those who should be out of this country, should be out of the country. We will continue with the swoops,” he asserted.

Dr Mutua said the government was keen to ensure security of its citizens and will do anything possible to make sure only foreigners with legal documents are allowed to stay. He further clarified that no particular group was being targeted.

“We are not targeting any religion, we are not targeting people from any particular country; we are ensuring that our national security is upheld,” he said.

The Spokesman further related the operation to the government’s efforts in flashing out irregular foreigners believed to be causing conflict in Kenya and other countries.

“The government will not allow anybody to live in this country to destabilise peace. We will round up people who are here illegally whose main intent is to use their story to cause problems. They come here as our guests, they are not here to demonstrate and wave Al Shabaab paraphernalia in the streets of Nairobi,” he said.

The Government Spokesman said every foreigner has to verify his or her intentions in Kenya.

On Monday Kenyan police detained 300 illegal Somali immigrants during a sting that followed a deadly protest at Nairobi\’s main mosque.

The raid on the city\’s Eastleigh neighbourhood was carried out by the elite General Service Unit and anti-terrorism police following claims by the government that Somalia\’s hardline Islamist Al Shabaab group infiltrated the demonstration.

Dr Mutua further announced that government was working on new rules and regulations to restrict purchase of property in Kenya by foreigners. He said the new regulations will be published soon to control irregular purchases of property in the country.

There have been allegations that foreigners have been buying land and other property in Kenya at high rates likely to pose a crisis in future. Due to this, some have claimed that house rent has also gone high since foreigners are willing to pay even twice of what Kenyans can afford to pay for houses.

Under the new laws, Dr Mutua said foreigners buying property in Kenya would be required to substantiate the source of the money they are using in Kenya.

“We have to protect the market and protect what Kenyans own from others who may not have the right intent. When we get people coming in with money that cannot be accounted for, they are also coming in here and staying with different plans,” he said.

But he made it clear that Kenya was not opposed to foreigners buying property in Kenya saying what was required was genuine investors whose intentions are clear and for the benefit of the country.

“We have to be very careful, we don’t want to go the way of some countries and become xenophobic and start kicking out our friends or foreigners who have been here; we have no problems with foreigners,” he said. 


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