Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was left seething with rage during a tour of Nyayo House when he found a foreigner had been given a work permit for a low cadre job that could be done by Kenyans.
A furious Matiang’i was caught on tape wondering why a foreigner should be given a work permit to be construction site supervisor.
On Thursday while supervising the exercise at Nyayo House in Nairobi, the CS said appropriate action should be taken against the culprits.
“You are a site manager? We gave you a permit to be a site manager? Is it that we do not have site managers in this country,” he posed.
An exercise, which was launched on Monday, aims at digitizing the work permit database for foreigners working in Kenya.
The Interior ministry said its records indicated that there are only 34,000 legal foreign workers, a figure that is way below the actual number of foreign citizens working in Kenya.
Matiang’i noted that many Kenyans remained jobless while some foreigners were employed in positions that can be occupied by Kenyans. “This is what makes me angry,” he is heard saying.
Foreigners living and working in the country without official work permits have been given 60 days to get documentation or risk being arrested.
The government has so far nabbed 13 foreigners with fake work permits during the ongoing registration and verification process of all foreign nationals working in the country.
“Give me one reason why we need to give a permit to someone coming to be an accountant in Kenya or in the case of civil society, why give a permit to a programme officer with the number of graduates who have Masters degrees,” Matiang’i added.
At the same time, Matiang’i put on notice immigration officials issuing work permits and other documentation illegally.
“The monkey business era in this department must come to an end. For every work permit issued, we will keep a digital trail of the records and specific officials involved in issuing them to identify who issued a permit,” he said.