Let's revert to old visa system

In Summary

• The  new ETA system is more or less the same as the previous online visa system

• The implementation of the ETA system undermined President Ruto's promise of visa-free entry to Kenya

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck, so the saying goes.

The new Electronic Travel Authorisation is just a visa by another name. And to make matters worse, it is now more difficult to get than the old visa.

In December, President Ruto promised visa-free entry for all Africans. Instead most Africans, for instance from Zimbabwe, now need to apply in advance for an ETA including a photo, detailed itinerary and an invitation or hotel booking.

Moreover, the visa is only applicable to a specific flight and a new visa is needed if a traveller changes flight. 

President Ruto's promise of visa-free entry to Kenya in December was widely welcomed as it promised to boost business and tourism. Sadly the government's implementation of the new ETA rules has just made it more difficult for foreigners from Africa and the whole world to visit Kenya.

Perhaps we should just revert to the old system where visitors could apply for visas on arrival for $50. The new cheaper rate of $30 can be reserved for visitors who get an ETA visa in advance online.

Quote of the day: "I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace."

Thomas Paine
The writer
published his pamphlet Common Sense on January 10, 1776

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star