Outrage As Gov’t Asks Desperate Kenyans Stuck In China To Cater For Evacuation Costs

Kenyan Ambassador to China Sarah Serem [Photo/Courtesy]

The Kenyan government is on the receiving end of Kenyans wrath after offering to evacuate citizens stuck in China but at their own costs.

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.

On the date of departure, the embassy said, “Please note that the departure will be from Guangzhou on a date to be determined immediately the above information is availed.”

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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.

Last week Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau admitted that Kenyans in China had greatly been affected by the racial discrimination meted against Africans.

“This situation has been extremely worrisome to all of us. The reality is that this has been a very unfortunate outcome. Africans, Kenyans included, have been discriminated against in the process of [Guangdong provincial] government’s response to mop up the situation that they are facing there, post-crisis,” PS Kamau told the press on Tuesday.

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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 week.

This is considering that last month the government directed all individuals entering the country to be quarantined at their own cost.

It’s also alleged that some Kenyans who have been infected with the virus are forced to pay for medical expenses.

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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