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Government in a spot over woman's death in Saudi

By Pkemoi Ngénoh | May 15th 2022 | 2 min read

The government is on the spot over the handling of 21-year-old Beatrice Waruguru's case who died in Saudi Arabia over alleged torture.

Details have now emerged that the National Employment Authority is yet to escalate the matter to the Ministry of Labour for action.

Communication from the office of Labour CS Simon Chelugui said that such cases of Kenyans who die in the gulf are reported to him through the Employment Authority.

The Authority is then expected to escalate the matter to the ministry for action.

But on yesterday, it emerged that the Authority has already ceased of the matter even as ministry claimed it has not been appraised of the woman's death.

“We have heard about the woman’s case and it is being handled administratively,” said Joseph Njue, Director General, National Employment Authority.

The admission by the Authority to be handling the case and the confessions from ministry of Labour that it had not received an official report on the case puts the government on the spot over how it has handled the matter.

Communication from office of Chelugui said they cannot act on the matter until the case is reported to ministry by the Employment Authority.

“We don’t want to comment before it is confirmed because they must know about the agency that took part in the case. The Authority is the one that regulates the agency,” said the official from CS’s office.

The Authority only went ahead to explain the procedure of cancellation of licences for rogue recruitment agencies.

Waruguru left the country in February last year to Saudi Arabia to work as house help but weeks later she reached out to the family reporting that she was being tortured.

Afterwards, she went offline until the family received reports that she had died in the foreign land.

Her remains were transported to the country on May 11, 2022 several months after she died.

Autopsy conducted on Waruguru’s body showed that she was starved and had strangulation marks on her neck.

However, a postmortem from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia indicated that Warurugu died by suicide.

The family now wants the agency that facilitated her travel to the gulf be brought to book.

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