2 Rwandan citizens stranded in Kenya amidst coronavirus outbreak

On 26 March 2020 at 03:18

Two Rwandan citizens have been stranded for two days at an airport in Kenya after the country implemented quarantine measures for all travelers transiting through Kenya.

Kalisa Amin Shalid is one of the two Rwandans who are stranded in Kenya along with 61 other travelers of different nationalities.

They spend their days and sleep at the airport and were given explicit instructions not to move out. The Kenyan Directorate of Immigration Services has confiscated their passports to reinforce the instructions.

"We have pleaded with the Kenyan Directorate of Immigration Services to at least let us look for a hotel and wait for the 30-day air travel ban to end but they declined our request."

Kalisa told IGIHE that he and the fellow Rwandan whose name was omitted were coming from Harare, Zimbabwe and that they are required to pay $1200 for all the time they will be kept in quarantine. "We were told we will be paying $90 for every day we will spend in quarantine and honestly speaking, we cannot afford it."

Robert Masozera, Ambassador of Rwanda to Kenya told IGIHE that they have tried to negotiate with Kenyan authorities to release the 2 Rwandans but in vain.

"New preventive measures state that all travelers coming from endemic countries and transiting through Kenya will be subjected to mandatory quarantine. We tried to negotiate with immigration services in Kenya but they stood their ground and completely declined our request. The immigration services confiscated passports of all travelers who tried to oppose instructions."

Amb Masozera said that stricter preventive measures have been implemented in Kenya to prevent the spread of coronavirus and that even some Kenyan nationals are stranded at the airport.

"We are in difficult times and we have tried our best to negotiate better conditions to no avail."

Currently, 28 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Kenya while 1 person recovered from the virus.

They spend their days and sleep at the airport and were given explicit instructions not to move out.