BY MAUREEN MUDI
A DAY after Internal Security PS Francis Kimemia said the government has started investigation into the murder and torture cases of Kenyans in Saudia, another citizen has died under mysterious circumstances in the foreign country.
It is alleged that Mwanamisi Mwitani from Kwale County was murdered about three months agoby her Saudi employer after a disagreement.
Muslims for Human Rights said Mwitani’s body was stashed in a freezer for months. The body was found by workers a few days ago. “When the body was found, the late Mwanamisi was holding on to her travel documents including her passport,” Muhuri said,
Her mother, Mariam Abdallah, said her daughter who was born in 1972, left the country last year on May 5 and only called once from Saudia. “She never informed me of how much they were paying her. It was only on August 4 that I was informed by the agents that they were called by the embassy concerning my daughter’s death,” she said. Abdallah said she wants her fourth born child’s remains to be interred in Kenya.
Kimemia had said that his ministry and that of Labour was preparing a framework to be presented to the National Security Advisory Committee to ensure that all recruitment firms are registered, and that they liaise with the ambassador to ensure that he knows where the Kenyans get employment.
Yesterday, it emerged that the agency responsible for sending Mwanamisi to Saudi Arabia where she met her death is Al-Shiraa Agency which is based in Kisauni Mombasa. Efforts to contact the agency failed.
Kimemia had claimed that other agencies pose as recruitment agencies but could be involved in a ring of human trafficking. Said he, “Bogus agencies operating in Mombasa will be shut down and those operating them arrested and prosecuted, no Kenyan is going to be left to be punished, de-humanized or killed, those in distress should be brought back to the country,” He said all firms will in the future be registered with the immigration, labor and the commissioner of police. He said the government will vet all the recruiting agencies following increased cases of human rights violations.
Khalid said, “This is another barbaric case of murder and torture of a Kenyan in Saudi Arabia while the government continues to watch and do nothing as its citizens continue to lose their lives and be tortured with impunity,”
Muhuri in partnership with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) is in the process of investigating cases of torture of Kenyans in Saudi Arabia.
The preliminary investigations reveal that cases of sexual assault, reneging on terms of employment, harsh working conditions and physical abuse are rampant and occur regularly against Kenyan workers. Khalid said the perpetrators are always the Saudi employers who violate the rights of their workers.
Said he, “Under Saudi laws and also international laws, these acts constitute criminal offence and we hereby call on the Saudi government to immediately arrest the violators and charge them with criminal offences. The violation of a right occasions criminal responsibility so we call on the authorities to act and ensure justice is done,”
Muhuri further demanded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Embassy in Kenya bring back the body of the late Mwanamisi to Kenya so that an independent postmortem can be carried out to confirm the cause of death.
He said the organization was also considering teaming up with KNCHR, to send a delegation to Saudi Arabia to hold a meeting with Kenyan workers with a view to ascertaining their plight.