The decision by the government to increase passport fees for the Diaspora has angered Kenyans living abroad.
In an amendment to the Citizenship and Immigration Regulations by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i on January 18th, Kenyans in abroad will now part with nearly twice the amount paid by those in the country for the crucial travel documents.
Kenyans in the United States and Canada, who have been hit hard by the new pay structure, expressed their anger towards CS Mating'i and the the Jubilee administration, questioning the motive behind the move.
“This is a clear move by a corrupt government that has run out of money and ideas on how to create wealth to improve the welfare of Kenyans,” said Anthony Muhula, a Kenyan resident of Montreal, Canada.
He added: “Instead, (it) is now frantically looking for ways to fill the hole in the government coffers they raided to finance the campaigns. Kenyan abroad should resist this exploitation!”
Lawyer Henry Ongeri termed the move as a violation of rights of Kenyans in the abroad, adding that the government is treating the lot as second-class citizens.
“Severely outraged by this latest ‘decree’ from the Kenya government. One would have thought that the unending sore of these Kenyans being denied their right to vote was vile enough,” Henry K. Ongeri posted on Facebook.
“Apparently, it has also become forgivable to just see them as endless cash cows whose dollars and Euros ooze from their very beings.”
“This is not about the amount, many Kenyans in the diaspora can manage to pay the sum, but it is the principle that galls us. Due process and equal treatment before the law, what animals are those, they ask? I am livid and hope that I am not alone,” he added.
In the new pay structure, Kenyans in the US will pay Sh21,000, up from Sh12,000 to replace their passports. For those living in the United Kingdom, a 32-page passport will cost Sh6,403, Sh7,516 for a 48-page and Sh12,807 for a 64-page.
Kenyans in the European Union nations will pay Sh7,516, Sh9,395 and Sh11,274 for a 32,48 and 64-page passport. Those in Africa, Asia and Australia will pay Sh5,000, Sh6,500 and Sh8,000 for a 32, 48 and 64 page passport respectively.
"Kenya passport is uniform no matter where you live it is the same. Matiang'i usituletee ukora. It cost the same amount to make it. We pay the shipping cost out of our pockets," another Kenyan said.