Assistant minister Ordered to rescue househelp in Arabia
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.