The National Assembly Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee has called out KRA for allegedly harassing and intimidating passengers arriving at JKIA.
The committee says they want the agency to go easy on tourists and make it easy for passengers and travelers coming into Kenya to declare their luggage and where necessary pay duty before landing.
“There is also need to clarify which goods are affected and ensure personal effects and electronics are left out,” said Nelson Koech, the committee chair.
Koech in a release noted that KRA’s Passenger Terminal Guidelines could not have come a worse time.
“This is not the time to be threatening those coming to Kenya. We are entering the peak tourism season and their majesties, King Charles III and Queen Camilla, visit to Kenya is poised to give our tourism a very big boost.”
King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrived at State House, Nairobi Monday morning for a formal ceremonial welcome.
Their majesties were received by President William Ruto, First Lady Rachel Ruto and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi.
The royals were honoured with a 21-gun salute before planting ceremonial African fern pine trees in State House lawns.
Meanwhile, a few days ago, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua also voiced his concerns over the alleged harassment of international tourists at the country’s entry and exit points by the KRA officials.
Mutua accused some KRA officials of conducting unnecessary and exaggerated checks, which he believes are scaring away tourists.
“When our tourists arrive, they carry their cameras, wear their shoes, and yet they are harassed at the airport. KRA officials at the airport harass our visitors, and this leaves them with a negative impression. You wonder why they don’t come back,” Mutua lamented.
Comparing Kenya to other tourist destinations, Mutua highlighted the more tourist-friendly procedures in places elsewhere.
“You go to Rwanda, they don’t harass you. Does Rwanda not collect taxes? You go to South Africa, and they don’t harass you. In Dubai, they don’t harass you. So, why do our visitors face such challenges in Kenya?” he questioned.
KRA has in recent times come under intense fire after netizens on X claimed that the authority was harassing people getting into the country.
They then in turn issued a new unsavory directive that seeks to tax personal or household items, whether new or used.
While making the controversial announcement on X (formerly Twitter), the KRA handle said that all travelers bringing along items worth USD500 (approx. Ksh 75,000) and above will be subjected to taxation.
“Remember when traveling you will be allowed to carry personal or household items worth USD500 and below. Anything above the amount, shall be subjected to tax,” the tweet read.
After much backlash online, the KRA X handle has now deleted the controversial tweet.