Five Kenyan sailors stranded in Indonesia for the last two years


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Five of the Kenyan seamen currently stranded in Indonesia pose with an International Transport Federation official (centre). The ship owner is said to have abandoned them. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]
Five Kenyan sailors have been stranded in Asia for the last two years after their vessel broke down. Reports indicate that crew members of a Zanzibari flagged vessel, MV Queen Binanga, have not been paid.

The ferry has been moored off the Tanjuk Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is said have first docked at Port Labuan in Malaysia. International Transport Federation (ITF) Mombasa Port Inspector Betty Makena said the Kenyan seafarers had initially been hired by a Burundian national, who had purchased the vessel from the Philippines.

“Documents in our possession show the Burundian owner had conspired with local seafarers to take charge of steering the vessel from the Philippines to Zanzibar,” Ms Makena told The Standard. Never consulted “Neither the maritime regulator, the Kenya Maritime Authority, nor the Seafarers Union of Kenya were consulted during the hiring process.” Makena named the sailors as Athman Mzee Hamisi, alias Rotation, who is listed as the ship’s master, Imbuga Aggrey Diede, an electrician, Mapinga Mwalimu, Tela Hamisi Juma, who is a cook, and Yusuf Omar Ragunda, a greaser. Makena said four others Kenyans had previously joined the crew but left and returned home. They are Joseph Musau, who is an engineer, Noah Otieno Ogada, Michael Milisi Mamkoma and Mubarak Breik Mbarak. Union chairman Daudi Haji and secretary Stephen Waki have appealed to the Government to rescue the Kenyans.

“We also want the ship owner compelled to pay their salary arrears,” said Mr Haji. Mr Waki called on seafarers to make a point of informing the union and relevant Government authorities before signing contracts with vessels. “We want to ensure that we have information on the whereabouts of our seafarers whenever they board a ship to work. They must show us their contracts so that in the event they are mistreated or something happens, we can follow up their cases with relevant parties,” Waki said yesterday.


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