“Tourism is key source of FOREX into Kenya” – Mohammed Hersi

Tourism is key

Past chairman of the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF), Mohammed Hersi has written a passionate appeal to the President of Kenya, His Excellency, William Samoei Ruto on the new move that all government payments should go to e-citizen platform. The appeal by Hersi was made via his X (formerly Twitter) platform today 26 August 2023, about an hour ago, where in he tagged HE President Ruto, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage, Peninah Malonza and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). You can read the word of the passionate appeal below…


Your Excellency President William Samoei Ruto

I am writing this piece with a very heavy heart.

Tourism is key source of much needed FOREX into Kenya. Our currency is getting hit badly by other currencies but Tourism a key source for forex is being undermined in a way never seen before in this country.

From Visa online that hardly works and now the new move that all government payments should go to e-citizen which means KWS have suspended funds being paid to them directly.

On e-citizen there is no corporate platform it’s all individual accounts then add the forex payment challenges.

Your Excellency, paying park fees on e-citizen is just not working and what a mess, surely why introduce a new rule in the middle of a peak period. Competing destination are just laughing at us. Pictures don’t lie and videos will give you a more clear picture of where we are today. These video have been shared by our frustrated driver guides. We have just come out of COVID crisis then this self-inflicted crisis.

Your Excellency, we would be writing to our CS Tourism Peninah Malonza seeking a one on one appointment to meet you. You have now marked one year in office and it’s only fair that we meet you so that we can also tell you what is working and what we need to do to surmount some of the hurdles we are facing. Tourism is a key player to help you deliver on your Kenya Kwanza manifesto.

Your Excellency, we mean well and Kenya is in high demand but the delivery from eVisa to park fees is making us lose the plot. We still have to contend with the threat of higher park fees come Jan 2024.

First things first please allow Kenya Wildlife Service to retain the status quo as e-citizen gets sorted out. I am afraid the firm running e-citizen and eVisa is single biggest threat to the future of tourism. Out of nowhere the same online platform expect us to pay them 3.5% charges for each park fees. Who will bear this cost in the middle of a busy period where packages have already been sold?

As always I choose to remain an optimist that self-inflicted crisis is resolved before we end up losing all the bookings that is in the books. I have been in tourism business for the 20+ years never seen it this hard.

Mohammed Hersi,
Diani Hospitality Owners Association

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