The Kenyan Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has asked Kenyans who would like to be evacuated back home in the wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to submit their details for the process to be initiated.
In a notice seen by Kahawa Tungu, Ambassador Kariuki Mugwe appealed to all Kenyans in UAE to register with both the embassy in Abu Dhabi and Dubai consulate to help the officials have an accurate number of Kenyans residing in the country.
Ambassador Mugwe noted that there are approximately 50,000 Kenyans living and working in UAE but only about 13,000 had registered with both the Embassy and Consulate.
The persons will be evacuated at their own expense with a one-way flight costing AED 2000 (Ksh58,000).
“You may also wish to indicate whether you need to travel back home for us to start the process of seeking for relevant clearances and approval for travel. The tickets will cost approximately AED 2,000 one way,” the notice dated April 15 reads.
“…I strongly urge all Kenyans to remain calm and to strictly follow the host government’s directives, especially the advice to stay at home. The Embassy and the Consulate highly commend all Kenyans for their resilience and understanding during this difficult time. Please keep it up.”
The latest comes at a time the government is under fire over a similar move of demanding that Kenyans stuck in China pay for their travel tickets.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry through officials at the Kenyan Embassy in Beijing issued a notice on Friday asking Kenyans who wish to fly back home to be ready to dig deep into their pockets for expenses such as plane tickets.
The officials called on those ready to be evacuated and are Coronavirus free to register with the Embassy.
Additionally, the individuals must agree to be placed under compulsory quarantine for a period of between 14 to 28 days on arrival in Nairobi.
Among thousands of Kenyans stuck in China are traders and students studying abroad.
The Ministry issued the notice following pressure from Kenyans both at home and China urging the government to evacuate the individuals after reports emerged that they are being mistreated and racially discriminated against after a spike in imported COVID-19 cases in Guangzhou.
The discrimination by the Chinese is targeted mostly on Africans as some have been evicted from their apartments, barred from entering supermarkets and restaurants.
A section of Kenyans in China and back home has disagreed with the government over the travel expenses directive.
The individuals wonder why despite all the donations the government is receiving to contain the spread of COVID-19, it can’t spare some percentage to take care of its citizens. The government has raised over Ksh1 billion in the COVID-19 Emergency Fund kitty, President Uhuru Kenyatta said last Thursday.