Family of woman stuck in Saudi Arabia seeks government’s help

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Saumu Omar, mother to Mwanaidi Saidi who is detained by her employer in the Middle East and Masasi Omar her Uncle (right). They want the government to help bring her back home. Photo/PD/Bonface Msangi

A family in Mombasa is appealing to the government to help their daughter who is detained by her employer in Saudia Arabia to return home. 

Speaking during a media briefing at the Haki Africa Offices in Mombasa, the family of Mwanaidi Saidi, 34, led by her uncle Masasi Omar said their efforts to reach to Kenyan embassy have been futile.

“ What she is going through at the hands of her employer should not be allowed to continue.

They have threatened to kill her if she reports her ordeal,” claims Omar.

According to Women activist Hurriet Muganda, Saidi’s case represents a small fraction of Kenyans suffering in the hands of their employers in the Middle East.

She condemned the government for  alleged laxity in helping victims return home. 

Untold suffering

“We are going to sue all the unscrupulous travelling agents transporting Kenyans to the Middle East and later abandoning them there and allowing them to go through untold suffering. This kind of thing should be put to a stop,”  she said.

Saidi, a Class Eight leaver, was promised by a local agent that she would find a  well-paying job in Madina, Saudia Arabia to help her fed for her three children.

She left the country on November 2019, but upon reaching there her employer started mistreating her and her agent cut off communication.

According to Saidi’s mother, Saumu Omar, 57,  her daughter stopped communicating with them after she sent them her salary for two months. 

“My daughter would call me crying, claiming her boss is threatening to take away her life if she attempts to report anything to us.

My daughter received only two months’ salary and from then it was torture and mistreatment,” said Omar.

“Cases of agents transporting Kenyans to the Middle East and later abandoning them are many.

This kind of thing should be put to a stop,” said Mathias Shipeta, a Rapid Response Officer from Haki Africa Human rights organisation.

The officer warned Kenyans against travelling to the Middle East, through unscrupulous agents.

“We know recruiting agents may take advantage of the Covid-19 joblessness period to recruit Kenyans, we want to warn Kenyans to be wary of scrupulous foreign travel agents who only collude with brokers,” Shipeta added.

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