COTU Condemned Government Reintroduction Of Work Permit For East African Community Workers In Kenya

An organisation known as Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) in Kenya has condemned the reintroduction of a work permit for East African Community workers who wish to work in Kenya.

A document which was suspended during President Mwai Kibaki tenure to allow nationals from Rwanda and Uganda to work without paying fees.

Kenya is said to have now join Tanzania, which has maintained work permit requirements for the East African Community Citizens.

The organisation’s Secretary General Francis Atwoli cautioned the government that the move will derail free movement of labour as envisaged under the East African community Union.

According to Mr. Francis, “The decision by the Kenya Government to introduce work permit requirements for all foreigners from East Africa Community countries and outside the region as well as issue deterrent legal measures to those found engaging aliens without requisite documents is a huge blow to the region’s integration process, particularly to the Common Market Protocol.”

“For Kenya to realise the elusive economic boom from both external direct and indirect investment, we must promote our sub-regional trade by opening up our borders and allowing our nationals to use their national identification cards as travel documents,” he added

Mr. Francis who believes the politicians maybe be taking such steps due to political motives said, “If these politicians have their own personal differences owing to their individual interests and egoism, which do not conform with the need and aspirations of the people of East Africa, it shouldn’t drive our nation into slamming visas to Tanzanians who are entering Kenya or vice versa because most of these movements are for business purposes,” he said.

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