New reports from the neighbouring Tanzania indicate that President John Magufuli has issued a directive evicting all foreigners working in the country illegally to give jobs to citizens.
Kenyans have been on Twitter since yesterday pouring out their anger and accusing the up to this week most popular East African president for being “xenophobic” and targeting their people working in Tanzania.
This followed a report published by Uhuru, a Tanzanian newspaper on Thursday, January 7, 2015 quoting the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, who announced the president’s decree.
Masauni reportedly told journalists that an operation dubbed ‘Oparesheni Timua’ had been launched through which Tanzanian immigration officials will carry out door to door workplace raids to hunt ‘foreigners’ doing business in Tanzania.
The operation, he said, was aimed at reducing the number of visitors doing jobs that can be done by the natives.
“There are business people and other workers who are not doing what brought them here… we urge them to leave before this operation catches up with them),” Uhuru newspaper quoted Masauni as telling a press conference in Dar es Salaam.
He said the operation was only to make sure that visitors follow immigration rules.
However, it is reported that the president’s order directed all foreigners including Kenyans with or without work permits to relinquish their jobs to the Tanzanians.
Masauni said the government would arrest, arraign in court and deport all those staying or working in the country illegally.
According to the minister, the crackdown was a measure to curbing unemployment in the country.
Tanzania immigration department boss, John Msumule, is quoted by media saying the operation has already begun and they had already arrested 350 foreigners.
He said the operation did not mean that they were against foreigners but was just to ensure that the county’s laws are followed.
Government also reportedly cancelled all short-term visas accusing foreigners of abusing the renewal provision.
Kenyans who recently suggested that Magufuli goes to Kenya to replace President Uhuru Kenyatta, have now asked their leader to immediately deport all Tanzanians living and working in their country.
Ugandans on social media have concluded that the honey-moon of East Africa’s darling [Magufuli] has come to its premature end.