The government says it cannot account for 1.5 million Kenyans living and working abroad.
Appearing before National Assembly’s Labor and Social Welfare Committee, Labor Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said the group are among the roughly four million Kenyans in the diaspora.
He noted that the 1.5 million citizens are not registered with respective Kenyan missions in their host nations, making it difficult for the government to trace and assist them.
“It has emerged that out of the four million Kenyans working abroad, 1.5 million are not registered with the ministry. How they migrated to these countries remains a puzzle, but it remains the government’s business to establish how they got there,” Chelugui said.
He added: “Ideally, we need to get them on board but it is very difficult, this is a voluntary exercise and if they are not forthcoming, we can only estimate and work with the leadership of the diaspora organizations that took them there.”
Data by the government indicate that 60,000 Kenyans live and work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 104,000 in Saudi Arabia, 40,000 in Qatar, 136,000 in the United Kingdom, 7,067 in Bahrain, 1,500 in Kuwait, 55,000 in Tanzania, and 5,000 in Rwanda.
Others are 950,000 in the United States, 60,000 in Uganda, 3,000 in India, 2,500 in France, 15,000 in Germany, 4,000 in Italy, 4,900 in Oman, 7,000 in South Sudan, and 38,000 in South Africa.