Nairobi, Kenya | THE INDEPENDENT | President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted restrictions on East Africans wishing to live and do business in Kenya. He says all East Africans need now is their national identification.
Speaking at today’s swearing in, President Kenyatta also directed that Africans wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry.
“As a mark of our continued commitment to you, our Brothers and Sisters in the East African Community; from today, you will be treated like Kenyans. Like your Kenyan brothers and sisters, you will need only your identity card,” he said, adding that “You can now work, do business; own property, farm and if you wish, and find a willing partner, you can marry and settle in Kenya.”
Kenyatta promised to work with leaders of the East African Community to bring a renewed energy and optimism to the union.
“Our Brothers and Sisters in the East African Community, you are our closest friends; our fate and yours are joined at the hip; our troubles and triumphs are yours, and yours are ours. Together, we can deliver the peace and prosperity for which our citizens are crying out; divided, we will struggle to realise the full potential of our people.”
On visas, Kenyatta said the freer Africans to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of their diversity they will become.
“The political balkanization that risks our mutual security, the negative politics of identity, will recede as our brotherhood expands to embrace more Africans. Today, I am directing that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry. To underscore Kenya’s commitment, this shall not be done on the basis of reciprocity.”
Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto took the oaths of office before several African heads of state, including from South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Somalia, Gabon, Botswana and Ethiopia.
Prime ministers, foreign ministers and special envoys represented other African nations, as well as Qatar, Serbia, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.