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‘316 Kenyans have died in the Gulf region’ – Mudavadi

Prime Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi
Prime Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi. PHOTO/@MusaliaMudavadi/X

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has revealed that 316 Kenyans have died in the Gulf region.

Mudavadi, who is also the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, says 166 Kenyans have died in Saudi Arabia, 58 in Qatar, 51 in the United Arab Emirates, 25 in Iraq, 10 in Bahrain and six in Kuwait.

The data, according to Mudavadi who spoke during a Senate session on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, covers from 2002 to date.

“The records we have show that the total number of Kenyans who have lost their lives in the Gulf region is 316. In Saudi Arabia 166, Qatar 58, United Arab Emirates 51, Iraq 25, Bahrain 10, Kuwait 6, Oman 0, Iran 0,” Mudavadi revealed.

Mudavadi was responding to questions on how the government has been helping the families of Kenyans who die while working abroad, especially in the Gulf region.

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 added.

This follows the death of a Kenyan, Mildred Busolo Lisanza, who died in Saudi Arabia on February 5, 2024, but her body was delayed in being repatriated to Kenya 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 added.

Mudavadi says the employer, who was supposed to bear the cost for repatriation, declined to do so 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,” he 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.”

Mudavadi reveals number of Kenyans in Gulf

Kakamega Senator requested that Mudavadi be compelled to table a list of all Kenyans working in the Gulf states to assure their families that the Government is on top of things.

“Could the Cabinet Secretary be compelled to table the list of all Kenyans working in these Gulf states so that the parents and relatives can be reassured that the government is on top of things as far as their lives are concerned,” Khalwale said.

In response, Mudavadi said at least 416,058 Kenyans are working in the Gulf states.

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