97 Kenyans have died in one Middle East country – Labour CS Chelugui reveals

Monday, August 23rd, 2021 00:00 |
Labour and social protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.

Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has defended employment agencies over the rising cases of deaths of Kenyans in the Middle East, even as he disclosed that 97 Kenyans had died in one country only.

Chelugui blamed lack of proper information and failure to observe the law among those seeking employment in the region.

As per records from the Ministry, 97 Kenyans mainly women, have died in unclear circumstances in one of the countries in Middle East.

In the past few years, tens of Kenyans who had gone to seek greener pastures in the Middle East have been flown back in coffins while others have returned with harrowing stories of torture.

Chelugui said the Ministry was keen to resolve the incidents by making sure those who flow out registered with the relevant embassies.

He noted that many of the job-seekers had not registered with Kenyan embassies making it near impossible to track them in case of a problem.

“We have lost 97 Kenyans in one of the Middle East countries due to various reasons and we are keen to address the problem,” he said.

He was addressing the press after meeting the ministry’s officials in Naivasha at the weekend.

“Those who fly out should abide by the laws of the particular countries and make sure they understand the terms and conditions of their contracts,” he said.

He defended recruitment agencies noting that 420 of them had been vetted before they were licensed.

Chelugui admitted that high unemployment was pushing many Kenyans, particularly women, to the foreign countries.

“Many of the young women are illiterate and some people are taking advantage of this but I will accompany various State officers for a fact-finding mission in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

The CS at the same time announced the ministry was working on child care reforms in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

Chelugui said some of the reforms include moving away from children’s homes to foster homes.

 “The latest report by DCI indicate that we have lost 497 people to suicide since last year with the youngest been nine years old and its time we protect these minors,” he said.

More on News