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Boni Khalwale asks Mudavadi to publish names of all Kenyans working in Gulf

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 12:30 | By
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale. PHOTO/@DrBKhalwale/X
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale. PHOTO/@DrBKhalwale/X

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has urged the Prime Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi to publish the names of all Kenyans working in the Gulf.

This plea comes in response to a report by Musalia Mudavadi, detailing the deaths of 316 Kenyan nationals in various Gulf countries.

In a statement on his X account on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, Khalwale said disclosing the number of Kenyans working in the Gulf would put guardians and parents at ease and show the government is on top of things.

"Could the minister of foreign affairs publish the names of all the people working in the Gulf so that the parents and guardians can be assured that the government of Kenya is on top of things?" Khalwale stated.

Mudavadi responds

In response to Khalwale's request for information on the number of Kenyans in Gulf nations, Mudavadi reported that there are at least 416,058 Kenyans in these countries as of July 10, 2024.

Earlier, Mudavadi disclosed that among the reported deaths, Saudi Arabia recorded the highest toll with 166 fatalities, followed by 58 in Qatar, 51 in the United Arab Emirates, 25 in Iraq, 10 in Bahrain, and six in Kuwait.

The CS said this data spans from 2002 to the present.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi. PHOTO/@OfficePCS_KE/X

He addressed how the government supports the families of deceased Kenyans abroad, particularly in the Gulf.

"Upon receipt of the death of a Kenyan abroad, the first step that our missions do is to notify the family of the demise of their loved one. The Ministry does this by liaising with the employer, the foreign recruitment agent and the local recruitment agent based in Kenya to establish the information about the deceased and the next-of-kin," Mudavadi explained.

This follows the case of Mildred Busolo Lisanza, a Kenyan who died in Saudi Arabia on February 5, 2024, and whose body was delayed in being repatriated for burial.

"The Mission established that at the time of the death, the deceased was employed on a valid contract. The repatriation of the body (to Kenya from Saudi Arabia) took long since the post-mortem report indicated that the cause of death was suicide and investigations were ongoing which affirmed the same," Mudavadi noted.

He further elaborated that the employer, responsible for the repatriation costs, initially refused to cover them until Saudi authorities intervened.

"For this reason, the employer who is supposed to help with the cost of repatriation declined to take responsibility for repatriating the body citing that the death was not a natural occurrence," Mudavadi said.

"The Ministry through the embassy escalated the matter to the Labour authorities of Saudi Arabia to compel the employer to resolve the matter as required by the employment contract. The employer eventually took up the matter and the body was repatriated to Kenya on Thursday, 9th May, 2024."

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