, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 3 – The Interior Ministry is set to launch a nationwide crackdown against foreigners illegally working in the country on July 23 after the completion of the ongoing work permits verification exercise which had seen 18,227 permits authenticated by Tuesday.
According to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi the verification exercise which commenced on May 22 had led to the arrests of three brokers linked to a syndicate extorting unsuspecting foreigners seeking work permits.
“We will continue to hunt down for more brokers because the Department of Immigration Services does not need such people to facilitate the processing of papers,” he said.
Matiangi who was speaking at the Nyayo House in Nairobi where he inspected progress on the verification exercise set to conclude on July 22 said a total of 31 fake work permits had so far been detected.
He said the ministry will put in place a digital register of foreign nationals working in the country upon the completion of the verification exercise.
“I’m optimistic that by the time we conclude the verification exercise and issue new work permit cards, we will have a digital register of people entitled to work in the country,” said the interior CS.
Already, Matiangi said foreigners found to have been in the country illegally are being processed for deportation with a multi-agency team expected to convene later in the week to finalize the plans.
He, however, said that the ministry was drafting a piece of legislation that would compel deportees to meet their travel costs in a bid to cut government expenditure on deportations.
“The proposed amendments would save us from spending sometimes up to about Sh 500 million annually to deport people,” Matiangi noted.
At the onset of the work permit registration exercise, the number of foreigners cleared to work in the country had been estimated at 34,000 albeit concerns of aliens exploiting tourist visas to gain access to the country’s job market without seeking work permits.