By Martin Zulu
Detectives drawn from various arms of the government are investigating a syndicate of car dealers and mostly from Pakistan who don’t have valid documents to operate in Kenya.
Most of the car showrooms are along Moi Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue, Ganjoni, Kizingo among other areas within Mombasa town.
Among the suspects who are being sought by police include Asman Zahid who operates Niigata Motors Limited.
The 32-year old Pakistan national has a Pakistan passport issued to him by the country’s immigration department. The passport was issued in March 202o and expires in March 2025.
Documents in our possession indicate that Asman made attempts to get his businesses registered but never completed the process after allegedly securing protection from top government officials.
Detectives are now demanding a Car Dealership General License and Permit together with all relevant documentation from the businessman.
A dealer’s general license is a license issued by Kenya Revenue Authority to a dealer in, or manufacturer or repairer of, motor vehicles.
The Kenya Revenue Authority has made it mandatory to all motor vehicle dealers, manufacturers and repairers pursuant to the Traffic Act Cap 403 Section 23(1) Laws of Kenya; they must obtain a valid Dealers General Licence upon application and payment of the prescribed fees.
The move comes after President Willam Ruto made it clear that all persons living in Kenya must pay tax regardless of their position in society.
It is also believed that most of the Pakistani officials who operate posh motorcycle showrooms are being protected by high end key officials at immigration officers in Nairobi and Mombasa, police officers among other key government officials.
Detectives believe that such characters are used to protect and finance terror affiliated groups such as Alshabaab.
This will not be the first time Pakistan nationals are getting into trouble with the Kenyan government.
It should be remembered that in September 2021 Kenya suspended a visa-free transit agreement with Pakistan after social media sites showed videos of crowds of Pakistani nationals crowding residential areas across the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
The Interior Ministry ordered a crackdown on illegal Pakistani immigrants, saying there has been an influx of Asian foreigners who at first were thought to be Afghan refugees.
The then Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho ordered police working with the immigration services to crack down on illegal foreigners.
“The majority of these travellers have originated from Pakistan and have valid transit visas to Saudi Arabia that are issued on arrival,” Kibicho said in a statement.
“Going forward, the government will restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country to levels that do not pose a risk to Kenya’s national interest.”
Kenya’s Citizen Digital reported that in a letter to the High Commission of Pakistan, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “the Government of Kenya regrets that some of these passengers are taking advantage of Kenya’s status with these countries with regard to the COVID-19 quarantine regulations.
In October 2022, renowned Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif, 50, was shot dead by Kenyan police officers manning a roadblock along Magadi road in Kajiado . Mr Sharif died on the spot under a hail of bullets sprayed by GSU police officers from Magadi Training school, which is located a few kilometres from where the fatal shooting took place.
Kenya has always been on alert in regard to foreign nationals who are operating businesses without legal documents.Some of the foreigners have ended up being linked to al-shabaab terror group.
Attacks linked to the al-Shabaab terror group in Kenya increased by 26 per cent in 2022 and resulted in 116 fatalities.
A report by the Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies (CHRIPS) shows that the number of terror-related attacks over the period stood at 77 up from 51 reported in 2021.