Students within the East Africa Community (EAC) will now have a standard travelling document to enable them travel freely within the region, a government official has revealed. The Immigration officer in charge of Malaba Border point Mwadama Nguta said the ministries of Education in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are to design a standard students’ travelling identification card, to be used by students moving within the three states.
Speaking to the press in her Malaba office, Nguta said the move was reached at during a recent summit held in Uganda and attended by Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda. She said the three states agreed that ministries of Education should design a standard travelling document for all students within the three states to enhance free movement of people and goods.
“The ministries of Education within EAC member states will come up with a standard travelling document which will be used by students to move freely within EAC countries without any complications,” Nguta said. She said immigration officers at Malaba border encounter challenges when students from Uganda want to enter Kenya using their school identification cards.
“We have been forced to send some of them back to Immigration offices in Uganda to get written confirmation before being allowed to continue with their journey.” The Immigration boss said the number of travellers within the three EAC member states has gone up following a decison to allow people to use their national identification cards instead of their international or temporary passports.
Nguta said that travellers to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) still need to use their international passports and entry temporary passes. “International passports and temporary passes have not been scraped as people think despite the introduction of using national identification card by citizens of EAC states,” she said. Drivers from DRC still have to report to immigration office to get visas.
She said that tight security has been put along the Kenya Uganda border, to ensure no aliens are not smuggled into the country. She said two Sudanese men arrested at roadblock after entering the country, illegally were taken to Malaba police station for interrogation. Nguta said it was discovered they were looking for their family members who are at Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County. By HENRY ANDANJE