“Huge Social Media Following Can Affect Your Visa Application.” Explains PS Macharia
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau has asked newly-elected Members of Parliament
to be cautious of their social media following, noting that it could cause them challenges when seeking Visas to certain countries.
PS Kamau says that a person, presumably a politician who has many followers on Twitter can be barred
from accessing their Visas due to some of the laws in different countries which classify elected leaders with huge online following as a ‘special category.’
According to PS Kamau, a country like the United States of America (USA) treats the said category (politicians with many followers)
as Politically Exposed Personality (PEP) and thus the verification process can be used to frustrate the applicant’s efforts.
“…You are now a Politically Exposed Personality. Once you become an MP or a highly active political actor when
your Twitter handle has a million people, that is enough trigger that you are now a PEP,” he said.
“…Meaning because of the US legislation, put during Obama years, that they are now keeping an eye on
those people who are politically active, not just for money which was but also for political activity.”
The PS was speaking on Monday during the induction of National Assembly members.
While urging the newly-elected members to be cautious of their activities on the social media
application, Kamau warned of possible events where the said individuals can be put through a rigorous process of referrals, simply because of their Twitter activity.
He illustrated: “You hear your Visa is now referred to Washington…you go there with your shemeji, he is given his visa and proceeds to America but wewe mdosi wa parliament you are told to wait.
When it goes to reference it now joins a long queue sometimes you can take three to four months, and you even give up and go and take your passport.”