The Kenyan government on Tuesday announced plans to shift to e-visa services effective from Jan. 1, 2021.
The Immigration department said passengers from countries requiring a visa to enter Kenya are expected to have the document before boarding a plane.
“We wish to inform you that 100 per cent e-visa will be effected from Jan. 1, 2021, Therefore all passengers from countries that require e-visa to enter Kenya shall be required to apply and obtain e-visa before boarding an aircraft,’’ deputy director of immigration services Alicent Odipo said in a statement.
The Department of Immigration Services said it has put in place a system for online application, payment and issuance of e-visa for visitors coming to Kenya.
The government said the online application system will significantly streamline the processing and issuance of visas for foreign nationals visiting Kenya.
Upon successful completion, the applicant will receive an e-visa via e-mail. On arrival in Kenya, the traveler should show the e-visa to officials at the port of entry where a hard copy visa will then be endorsed in the passport.
The latest move came as airports across the world are upgrading their technological solutions to ensure biometric check-ins of travelers in the near future.
E-visa services allow customers to submit their visa applications using just a mobile phone as it does not require a visit in person to the application center as part of the submission process.
Government officials say besides service delivery, the new measures are aimed at countering security challenges in Kenya.
Kenya has been the target of the Somali-based Al-Shabab militants, who have killed dozens of people in sporadic attacks carried out mostly at the coastal town of Mombasa and in the northeastern region near the border with Somalia.
Lightning Kills Four In Mozambique
No fewer than four people have been killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique’s western province of Tete, the Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) announced on Wednesday.
News Central reports that Tete shares a border with neighbouring Malawi.
According to the institute, the victims include an elderly woman and a three-year-old child. One other victim was seriously injured and a residence set ablaze.
The incident follows a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds that left a trail of destruction in southern Mozambique.
Tete’s National Disaster Management Institute delegate, Alex Angelo, said the torrential rain also caused damage in Maputo province on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.
He added that thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain brought down trees and power poles and damaged public infrastructure in the districts of Matola, Boane and Marracuene.
The storm also destroyed homes, uprooted trees and electricity poles and blew away the roofs of some schools and a local prosecutor’s office.
The destruction occurred mainly in four districts within the province.
The meteorological authorities predict the bad weather may continue for four more days.
The situation is likely to cause flooding in the cities of Beira and Dondo, which were devastated by cyclone Idai last year, and cause erosion in Chimoio.
Meteorologist Acacio Tembe says the torrential rains are beginning a week earlier than expected and they will continue for long.
He added that the rains may cause the flooding of the Buzi and Pungue rivers.
Tigray: Ethiopia, U.N Reach Agreement On Provision Of Aids
The Ethiopian government and the United Nations (U.N) have reached an agreement on the provision of access to humanitarian aids.
This was revealed by U.N officials on Wednesday, as they claim that the Ethiopian government has agreed to the provision of aids in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital.
Ethiopia and Tigray, a powerful region in the north of the country, have been at loggerheads since the 4th of November.
The Ethiopian government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of destroying public properties and wreaking a havoc on the state.
This led to battles between the giant of the Horn of Africa and the rebellious Tigrayan forces.
The UN, through its refugee agency, warned about the lean supply of food to the more than 100,000 refugees in Ethiopia. At least 46,000 Ethiopians have also taken refuge in neighbouring Sudan, where they are short on food supply, according to the U.N.
Also affected in the food crunch are refugees in Eritrea, Ethiopia’s closest neighbours.
African envoys had called for a truce amid the Ethiopian government’s rejection of mediation from the international community.
Mister Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia said on Monday that Mekelle has been captured, as he revealed that no civilian was hit in the process.
His claims were however rejected by the leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael who claimed that the Ethiopian government hit civilians in its onslaught on Mekelle.
The TPLF has refused to back down from its conflict with Ethiopia, denying that the battle is not over, contrary to the claims of Mister Ahmed.
Ethiopia is gearing up for its election in 2021, with political matters forming a part of the reasons for the ongoing conflict.
Mister Ahmed postponed the Ethiopian elections in August, citing COVID-19 as the reason for the decision. The TPLF has accused the Prime Minister of illegally leading government by buying himself more time through postponement of the election.
The TPLF ruled Ethiopia for 27 years before the emergence of Mister Ahmed in 2018.
One Missing in Militant’s Attack on Kenyan Police Patrol
Jihadist fundamentalist group, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as al-Shabaab, on Wednesday, attacked a police patrol base in Fafi, Garissa County of Kenya and injured a police officer.
Another police officer was also said to have gone missing.
The North-eastern Regional Commander, Rono Bunei, said the security officers were at the Amuma base when the heavily armed gunmen fired at them for about ten minutes before escaping.
Bunei said the station armoury was badly damaged in the attack, noting that the search for their missing colleague was ongoing while the injured one was stable at a local hospital.
According to him, an assessment done at the scene showed the attackers were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and they escaped as reinforcements approached there.
“We are determined to deal with this menace but we need support from locals. Such an attack cannot happen without their knowledge,’’ he said.
The regional police commander said no arrests have been made so far. More patrols have been sent to the area to search for the attackers, which are believed to have either crossed the border into Somalia or were still holed up along the border.
There have been several attacks staged by the militants in counties neighbouring Somalia in a series, amid efforts to contain the situation.
Five police officers were seriously wounded on Sunday when their vehicle ran over a set improvised explosive device in Rhamu, Mandera County, in the latest such incident.
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