Dozens of Kenyans are currently stranded in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after they were abandoned there by an unscrupulous hiring agent.
This was after a Mombasa-based recruiting agent promised to secure them job opportunities in Dubai, where they would earn up to Sh90,000 per month. To secure employment in Dubai, the agent asked the jobseekers to each pay between Sh150,000 and Sh200,000.
However, the jobseekers learned they had been conned after the agent took them to Dubai and abandoned them there with no jobs. Some of the victims, who were lucky to return to the country, are demanding justice.
52-year-old Rahmna Hemed said she took a loan of Sh800,000 to help her four children secure employment in Dubai. Her children were previously working in Qatar but the salary promised by the agent lured her into taking a loan.
“I withdrew my children from Qatar where they earned Sh40,000 hoping to secure them a well-paying job in Dubai only to be duped by an agent. I have not known peace since then,” Ms. Hemed told Sunday Nation.
Another victim, Amani Hamisi Juma, said he quit his security job in Qatar where he earned Sh40,000 per month and paid Sh200,000 to the Mombasa-based recruiting agent only to be abandoned in Dubai.
“We were living 50 people in one room, both men and women. We were never allowed to go out, it was like a prison. We sneaked and went to the Kenyan embassy but we were never assisted,” Juma said.
He disclosed that 100 people from Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Uganda were being held in a separate room. Juma further noted that the agents take Kenyans to UAE using visiting visas only to be enslaved.
“Our visas expired before we were hired, men and women were squeezed in one small room,” he said.
Ms. Mwanamvua Juma said most of her friends were forced to practice prostitution due to a lack of jobs.
“She [recruiting agent] lied to us, when I asked her for a job, the woman offered a house help job which I declined. I had paid Sh200,000 for a well-paying job,” she said.
A majority of Kenyans recruited by the Mombasa-based agent are reported to be stranded and suffering in Dubai.
“The embassy should raid the woman’s house and rescue our colleagues. Some Kenyans traveled [to Dubai] using fake documents,” said Mohammed Komora.
“She picked us from the airport and treated us well before she confiscated our passports and started treating us like slaves. Our embassy in Dubai did not help us,” said Mr. Douglas Mwazombo.
Another victim, Jamal Salim, said the Kenyan embassy in Dubai was to blame for failing to protect its citizens. “Our parents sold their gold chains, earrings, and rings to secure us jobs only to be duped by a Kenyan,” he said.