South Africa ‘considering’ visa on arrival request for Kenyans

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has hinted that South Africa is considering a request for Kenyan nationals to be granted visa on arrival in the southern African country.

He announced on Tuesday during a joint press conference with South African president Jacob Zuma in Nairobi.

“This is a privilege that Kenya already extends to South African nationals. In our view, there is no reason why both our countries cannot agree on exemption of visas for each other’s citizens,” Kenyatta said.

This was one of the issues discussed during Zuma’s official visit which is the first visit of a South African president to the east African nation.

Kenyatta called for a strengthened bond which will help raise the continent to new heights.

Jacob Zuma expressed mutual interest in the development of the bilateral relations and called for a joint regional and continental efforts towards countering negative elements.

“Since we are in East Africa, it was only natural that we spent considerable time discussing the current challenges in Burundi, South Sudan and Somalia,” he said while appealing to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to speed up their national dialogue process.

Zuma condemned the recent call by South Sudanese opposition leader Riek Machar for a popular armed resistance against the government in Juba.

“There is absolutely no need for fighting. Further fighting will only exacerbate the human suffering in South Sudan. We call on Dr Riek Machar to return to Juba and participate in the Transitional Government,” he advised.

The two countries agreed to increase trade, waive visas for diplomatic and official passport holders and to cooperate in areas such as security, financial service sector, customs, technical and vocational training.

A number of Memoranda of Understanding were signed on several areas including the development of the Lamu-South Sudan -Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor which is a pivotal project for Kenya and the sub-region.

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