Kenyan diaspora to import vehicles duty-free from November, Uhuru says

uhuru obamaPresident Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that Kenyans living abroad will be allowed to bring in right-hand-drive models duty-free starting November 2014.

The President made the announcement when he met Kenyans living in New York, US, at a reception on Thursday night.

President Kenyatta had in August pledged that the government would facilitate those with left-hand-drive vehicles to substitute them with right-hand-drive ones and import them duty-free.

However, there was a delay as the East African Community (EAC) had to be consulted.

TEMPORARY ARRANGEMENT

President Kenyatta said the consultations with the EAC will be held in January next year but a temporary arrangement has been made, which is set to begin in November.

Under the program, those who live in countries like the United States, where vehicles are left-hand, will be allowed to import a right-hand vehicle of similar value duty-free.

The President said the government would be vigilant to avoid those who would seek to exploit the system.

“Don’t try to import a Range Rover when you have been driving a Toyota where you live because that would be cheating Kenyans of tax,” the President said.

ECONOMY

He said a communication on the procedures to be followed has been released to Kenyan embassies and missions.

The President also called on Kenyans who live in the United States to use their networks to encourage more Americans to invest in Kenya’s growing economy.

“Help us to channel US investments to Kenya because we will prefer American investments driven by the Kenyan diaspora” he said.

The President said the government was creating an enabling environment for investors and wants to target the diaspora to have a bigger stake in the Kenyan economy.

He said the government was working hard to strengthen institutions to promote the economy and service delivery to Kenyans.

HATE MESSAGES’

President Kenyatta at the same time asked Kenyans in the diaspora to stop spreading hate messages through social media.

The President said Kenyans in the diaspora were more involved in spreading hate messages and called on them to instead promote unity.

“Why should some of you who live in a country like the United States that accepts all people be the ones spreading ethnic competitions?” he said.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the government was working closely with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to make arrangements that would allow the Kenyan diaspora to exercise voting rights in the next elections.

She also said that the Foreign Affairs ministry will in three weeks’ time launch an online portal to serve Kenyans living in different parts of the country.

nation.co.ke/

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