Kenya's Foreign Affairs Assist. Minister Ordered to Travel to Saudi Arabia to Rescue Woman
Foreign Affairs assistant minister Richard Onyonka has been directed to accompany Juja MP William Kabogo to Saudi Arabia to rescue a woman reported to be detained by her employer.
National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende said it was the best thing to do to save Ms Rosemary Wariera Nduati, said to be undergoing serious maltreatment in the hands of her employer, in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Kabogo has been pursuing the matter on the floor of Parliament without success. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs only responded by saying it had not made progress to reach the woman.
However, Mr Kabogo put the ministry to shame after tabling in Parliament a recording of a conversation he said he had had with the woman on telephone.
The woman makes desperate cries in the conversation calling out for assistance.
Mr Kabogo said he managed to trace and reach the woman through his own efforts.
He told his colleagues in yesterday’s parliamentary sessions that he engaged a private detective who traced the girl after unsuccessfully trying to engage the ministry.
“I gave the ministry the recording but they have done nothing,” said an exasperated Kabogo. He said the girl cries in the conversation saying she only eats left overs and pleads to be rescued.
The Speaker granted the MP’s request to have the minister for Foreign Affairs accompany him to Jeddah to bring the girl back home.
The minister was directed to plan for, and make the trip with the MP within two weeks and report back to the House. The ministry will also cater for the MP’s travel expenses.
“I advise that you do so within 14 days from today, travel with the MP and come back to this House with a report,” ordered the House Speaker.
The minister was at the same time ordered to investigate and report back to Parliament within the same period allegations that some officers in the ministry were collecting money from gullible Kenyans and taking them to Saudi Arabia where some are reported to be ending up in slavery.
Mr Kabogo claimed that in the case of Ms Nduati, the ministry had all the information it required to take action, including details of the persons holding her, but had done nothing about it.
“There is a cartel making money through this thing in the ministry,” he said.
Mr Onyonka, responding to questions about the case, claimed the Kenyan ambassador in Jeddah was overwhelmed and lacked the capacity to follow up on the cases.
“The ambassador has really been working tirelessly; he has tried his best but these cases have been very many. It is hard to trace some cases,” he said.
He added that the ambassador was yet to get Ms Nduati’s travel documents from the Ministry of Immigration in Jeddah.
The assistant minister said he too had heard about “rumours” about corrupt officials in the ministry involved in the Saudi manpower export business, but could not confirm them.
“I have nothing substantive to qualify the allegations,” he said.
Last month, the assistant minister told Parliament the ministry was not aware that Ms Nduati was missing.
He said her employer’s telephone number provided by the Juja MP was passed on to the Embassy in Riyadh and it had tried on several occasions to reach the woman, but in vain.
He advised Ms Nduati’s next of kin to contact the recruitment agency that arranged for her to travel to Saudi Arabia to provide the ministry with alternative contacts of the employer, so that the ministry “could try and see whether it could reach her”.
There has been an increase in reports of harsh working conditions for domestic workers in Saudi Arabia as well as more cases of mistreatment.
Reports include slave-like conditions, torture and even death in the countries where Kenyans go to work.
However, the assistant minister defended the labour export saying not all Kenyans who go to the Middle East end up in cruel hands.
He added that househelps formed a very small fraction of Kenyans seeking employment in the Middle East.
“There are many Kenyans who are working peacefully and earning a decent living in many countries within the Arab World and, indeed, globally,” he said.
The minister said cases of maltreatment are unique “in the sense that they have been one-offs.”
In response to the numerous cases of cruelty, the Government suspended recruitment of domestic workers to the Middle East, specifically to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The ministry said this will be until it streamlines the recruitment of Kenyans to make sure that none is further harmed.
MPs have declared the cases human trafficking cases.
Source: Daily Nation
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I hope they also look into the case of Riziki Amulega, a Kenyan national who was recruited to Saudi Arabia as a teacher but then placed in slave conditions to work as a househelp. When she ran she was imprisoned and then raped. She now has a 7 month old baby and both are trying to return to Kenya. http://www.change.org/petitions/kenyan-embassy-in-riyadh-rescue-riziki-a... and-baby-horeyah https://www.facebook.com/BringRizikiAmulegaAndBabyHoreyahHometoKenya?fre...
Here is another girl that needs your help. This is her story - My sister was summoned to the Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh yesterday (Sunday Sep 9th). I thought they were going to talk her about the progress of the documentation process but the meeting was just a slap in the face. Ali, who is now the Ambassador, informed her that they had not done anything about her case. Initially the ministry of foreign affairs offices had intervened in my sisters situation, and had informed me that after I paid the documentation process of 30,000 Kenyan Shillings they gave a directive to the Ambassador's ( Ali and Swalehe) to start working on my sister and the baby's papers.
Now Ali is demanding my sister and I should apologize to the Faraj, in-order for Ali to do anything about her situation. Faraj is the man who took advantage of her. I'm also supposed to apologize to him for seeking help/assistance from other Human Rights organizations. How a woman is supposed to apologize to man who literally took advantage of her and he's not the ambassador? I'm frustrated with his comments; Ali said no matter how many agencies I write to seeking for help, he will not do anything, because eventually the issues comes back to his desk.
At this point I'm not going to Apologize to Faraj, a man who took advantage of my sister because he's been protected by Ali and Swalehe whom, their position is to help Kenyans in my sisters situation. If I apologize what else I'm I supposed to do next? Congratulate Faraj (man who took advantage of my sister) for successfully making her pregnant? I'm I supposed to thank-him for all the money I have been spending to feed the 7 months baby and take care of both their accommodation? I have tried working with my own people (Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh) but I haven't been successful at all. And at this point I don't even trust them because of the abuses and insults I have received from them for reaching out to other humanitarian organizations to help me with my sisters situation and the 7 months baby! Faraj is an arrogant, rude, disrespective individual who apparently has affiliations with the Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh. There was a time he called my mom to tell her that he was sending my sisters dead body back to Kenya. It took me months to force him to return my sisters passport, and that's what we used and borrowed a friend’s Kibali to transport my sister Riziki from Jeddah to Riyadh. Faraj would call my sister a prostitute while he was talking to me on the phone, claiming that with his connections my sister would never go back home. How I'm I supposed to work with such an individual? He's married; he's 10 or 15 years older than my sister, has connections with the Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh and is very influential financially. How does a young girl (my sister) who had run away from the Arab, who was mistreating her, end up in prison and the only person that gets her out, ends up making her pregnant? And now the ambassador wants me to ask this man/Faraj for forgiveness for impregnating my sister?
No woman should be treated like this! I need another strategy the Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh is working together with Faraj and throwing insults in my face when all I've done through-out is to try and work with them to get a resolution for my sister and the 7 months baby to get out of Saudi Arabia.
I'm praying that God opens a door because no woman or young lady should go through anything like this. Any assistance will be appreciated. Sincerely, Shamilla Amulega.
If staff at the Kenyan Embassy are unable to help citizens in trouble because they are overwhelmed then, then Kenyan government ought to replace them with people with stamina to do the job. While M.P. Kabogo and the foreign minister are in Riyadh, they might as well get Riziki and her baby out of other. They are obligated to save her. Please Mweshimiwas, when you got to Riyadh, go and get it right and bring Riziki and the baby back home. The embassy staff were paid money, can they use it for its intented purpose.