Kenyans stranded in China to fly home May 1

Hundreds of Kenyans stranded in China will finally fly home on May 1, as the Kenyan Embassy in the country has communicated the date when a flight will be available.

Those who wish to travel back home will pay $750 (Sh80,000) for the economy class ticket from Guangzhou to Nairobi.

The Kenyan Embassy in China yesterday said the airfare had been discounted and maintained that the government would only facilitate those who can afford the ticket.

“Cost of ticket will be borne by an individual who will personally book and pay for it on the platform provided by Kenya Airways,” the embassy said in a communique to the Kenyans in China.

The new communication comes amid heightened criticism on how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has handled the predicament of the Kenyans stuck in China, many of them students and business people, who have been unable to return home for lack of means. The Chinese government has grounded all planes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Some of the Kenyans have reported mistreatment in the Asian country, specifically Guangzhou. Videos of Africans being evicted from their houses in the city have been shared on social media.

Sarah Serem, Kenya's envoy to China, defending the embassy from accusations it had abandoned the Kenyans, said the embassy had helped everyone that was affected. 

She said she had arranged alternative accommodation for the evicted Kenyans. 

In its notice yesterday, Ms Serem's office emphasised that it was not evacuating anyone, but merely facilitating their travel.

They will also require a Covid-19 clearance certificate.