Kajiado residents cry foul over influx of immigrant workers

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Immigration department NRB
PHOTO/COURTESY

Residents of Kajiado County have cried foul over the sudden incursion of immigrant workers in the county’s towns of Kitengela, Ong’ata Rongai and Ngong.

According to a news report by the Business Daily, the immigrant workers who hail from countries such as Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia are displacing locals by offering cheap labour for employers much to the dismay of Kenyans plying their trade in the area.

“They have taken all menial jobs. Employers have been disregarding locals. We can hardly make a living and the situation is getting worse,” said Moses Wambua, a Kitengela town Barber is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.

Employers in the areas have however vouched for the efficiency of the immigrants whom they claim are more upright than their Kenyan counterparts.

“We know most of them are in the country illegally but they are an option for cheap manpower. They are trustworthy considering they fear to find themselves on the wrong side of the law lest they face deportation. It is a calculated risk,’’ an employer in Kajiado is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.

According to Nzovu Jules of Refugee Affairs Secretariat, in the Business Daily report, an estimated 4,000 illegal immigrants live in Kitengela, Ong’ata Rongai and Ngong Towns. As stated by Nzovu, the immigrants enter the country illegally after being ferried by human trafficking cartels into the country.

Upon entry into the country the immigrants pose as refugees and seek sanctuary from willing Kenyans. Most are unsuccessful in their quest but those who are taken up by Kenyans are allowed to masquerade as hawkers but there is a catch; the immigrants will have to fork out 70 per cent to of their earnings to their ‘handlers’ only pocketing 30 per cent of their daily sales. This translates to offering the ‘handlers’ Ksh. 7 for every Ksh. 10 shillings they make.  

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