South Sudan will no longer issue visas on arrival to Kenyans as Juba intensifies the uptake of online and embassy visa applications to raise revenues and curb misappropriation.
The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Deng Dau Deng said the move would ensure accountability of fees collected from applicants.
“This is just a normal routine; the Embassy in Nairobi will be issuing visas to those who are in need of entering South Sudan. There is also an E-Visa they can get through an online application. So it is just a normal procedure not specific to Kenyan natives.
“Most of the countries of the world are trying to move away from these [ordinary] visas being issued on arrival or providing stickers,” said Deng.
He added that the move is also meant to streamline the payment of revenues.
Last December, there were growing calls for the auditing of the Civil Aviation Authority after reports emerged that the body was not remitting funds generated at the Juba International Airport to the National Revenue Authority. The monies included immigration collections at the airport from visas issued on arrival.
This followed revelations by the Crisis Management Committee, a body established to fix the ailing economy, that the aviation authority was not remitting all of its tax collections to the National Treasury.
Onyoti Adigo, who heads the Cabinet-level subcommittee, alleged that millions of South Sudanese pounds being collected at the airport were being mismanaged.
Mr Adigo’s comment came after his delegation visited Juba International Airport to quell protests staged by aviation staff over unpaid arrears. The strike had disrupted both domestic and international flights.
But Kur Kuol, the director of Juba International Airport, blamed South Sudan’s Council of Ministers which he said approved an order of payment to a company that constructed airport terminals.
In September last year, The Sentry published a report called “The Taking of South Sudan”, which accused regional and international companies of profiting from the South Sudan conflict.
It also accused seven immediate family members of President Salva Kiir of forging a partnership with Chinese-Malaysian oil giants, British tycoons, and networks of traders from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda. But Presidential Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny said the allegations were biased and did not have evidence to support them.
In October last year, the United Nations Human Rights Commission accused some South Sudanese politicians and senior government officials of embezzling at least $36 million since 2016.