The night of November 11, 2022, will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of Antony Kombe and his four children.
It is the night his wife, Kabibi Kahindi Kitsao, called to notify him that her two-year work contract in Saudi Arabia would end in two months. Kombe said his wife informed him that she had saved enough money to turn their life around.
She spoke to all her four children to ask what gifts they wanted her to bring them home in Matsangoni, Kilifi County. But this would be the last time they spoke and saw their mother on a video call, until last Monday when they saw her in a casket.
“She was naked, her eyes gouged out and tongue missing. I’m in pain to explain to my kids what happened,” said a teary Kombe at Kilifi mortuary.
Kombe said his wife, aged 43, secured a job in Saudi Arabia through Echo Media Technology Limited, a recruitment agency based in Nairobi.
Like other Kenyans, she was excited to have secured employment in Saudi Arabia as a domestic service worker. Kombe said that Kabibi’s boss, Ahmed Alihal Saeed, would occasionally call him to praise her work.
Kabibi said trouble started when an unidentified woman, the boss’s relative, came visiting and began mistreating Kabibi. “After three days she called to inform me that her phone would be taken away by her boss. She insisted I should continue to pray for her. I told her to be careful,” he said.
That would be the last time she spoke to Kombe. On December 17, last year, Kombe received a phone call from a stranger informing him that Kabibi was very sick.
“I insisted that I should speak to her via video conference. But he refused saying that Kabibi had refused to eat food and that she was too frail to talk,” recalled Kombe.
On March 23, Kombe received a message from the recruitment agency informing him that Kabibi collapsed on December 12, 2022, and died.
On May 17, Kabibi’s body was flown into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. According to medical reports from Saudi Arabia, she died of a heart attack. Kahindi Kitsao, Kabibi’s father, said her naked body was wrapped in foil and kept inside the casket.
The family is now calling on the government to investigate the cause of Kabibi’s death.
“The postmortem will be con ducted on Monday. We want to establish if the body is missing other organs. We hope that we will get justice.
“All her belongings and eight-month salary remained with Mr. Saeed, who is not picking up phone calls,” said Kombe.
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