KRA contradicts visa-free policy

In Summary

• Rresident Ruto has announced that all Africans will be able to enter Kenya without visas from the end of 2023

•TGhe KRA has started strictly enforcing the policy that travellers can carry no more than $500 of purchases 

The KRA headquarters at Times Tower in Nairobi
The KRA headquarters at Times Tower in Nairobi
Image: FILE

The attitude of the Kenya Revenue Authority towards arriving visitors is in sharp contrast to President Ruto’s announcement of visa-free entry to Kenya for all Africans.

The KRA has caused a furore by harassing arriving travellers suspected of carrying more than the permitted US$ 500 of imports. This is over-zealous because those travellers may have spent $500 for just one night in a hotel room abroad. How much will the KRA recover tourists and travellers returning home?

The KRA should definitely clamp down on traders returning to Kenya with multiple suitcases packed with goods for sale but it should leave ordinary travellers alone.

The KRA crackdown is surprising because it came in the same week as the progressive announcement by President Ruto that by the end of 2023 Africans would not need visas to come to Kenya. (Presumably they will still need work permits if they are to be employed full time.)

Making it easy for other Africans to visit Kenya will definitely boost tax revenue for the KRA as the visitors will spend money in Kenya.

The KRA should welcome genuine travellers just like President Ruto has done.

Quote of the day: In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt
He was elected US President on November 3, 1936

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