Family in Distress After Losing Contact with Kin Working in Saudi Arabia

Missing in Saudi Arabia

Missing Persons Banner. [Courtesy]

A family in Moi’s Bridge is in distress after losing contact with their kin who left to work in Saudi Arabia.

Cheruto Mutai left the country on October 6 after landing a house cleaning job in the Arab country through an agency.

Two days later she contacted her sister, Sarah Ruto, through social media. She confirmed that she had landed in the foreign country safely.

Later, she sent her brother an audio message via WhatsApp claiming that their host was mistreating her and the women with whom she had traveled with.

“Hello brother, here in the office we were kept there is no water and no one seems concerned about us. Actually, our life is in danger,” she is quoted to have said by the Standard.

Read: Gov’t Mulls Stopping Travel to Saudi Arabia by Domestic Workers

She also revealed that they had been locked up in a small room and their phones seized.

Cheruto also noted that she had been reassigned to a job she was not comfortable with.

“She said she had been assigned another job, and she was not willing to take up,” said Ruto.

The family was last in contact with Cheruto nine days ago.

Two weeks ago, Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau told a parliamentary committee that the government was mulling stopping the travel of domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.

Read Also: Kenyan Woman who Died in Saudi Arabia Suffered Head Injuries – Autopsy Reveals

PS Kamau told the Labour and Social Welfare Committee that the decision was informed by an increase in number of cases of mistreatment and deaths.

He told the MPs that the number of reported cases has gone up since 2019. He averred that the situation was getting out of hand.

He told the committee that three Kenyans, two of which were domestic workers, died in Saudi Arabia in 2019.

Last year, the foreign affairs principal secretary said, 48 Kenyans died in the Gulf country and out of this number, 29 of them were house helps.

This year alone, 28 domestic workers have died out of 41 deaths reported.

Read Also: 93 Kenyans Have Died In Saudi Arabia, Other Gulf Countries Since 2019 – State

There has been more than 1,900 distress calls by Kenyans in Saudi Arabia, MPs were told.

“These statistics indicate the reality that we face. It warrants bold decisive action to curb further suffering of Kenyan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia,” said PS Kamau.

The PS also told the committee that at least 89 Kenyans have died of “cardiac arrest” in the last two years while in the Arab nation.

The government, he said, accepted the “cardiac arrest” explanation without conducting autopsies.

He blamed the “dysfunctional nature” of the Labour Ministry for the problems facing Kenyans in Saudi Arabia.

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Written by Eva Nyambura

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