Government has no money to pay for Kenyan facing execution in Saudi, Mudavadi

Bring Back Stevo Campaign Committee members led by Dorothy Kweyu Musopole, Chairman Joseph Odindo and Cyprian Amakalu addressing the media at Sarova Pan Afric Hotel, Nairobi on May 8, 2024. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The execution of Stephen Munyakho, a Kenyan in Saudi Arabia found guilty of manslaughter, has been deferred as the complainants continue to demand blood money.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, speaking during a Senate plenary on Wednesday, July 10, said the execution was halted following the Ministry’s intervention.

“I wish to state that a few weeks ago, I officially wrote to the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, intervening on behalf of Mr Munyakho. The execution was deferred and did not take place,” said Mudavadi.

Despite this reprieve, the family of the deceased is still demanding a compensation sum of Sh150 million. 

In May this year, Saudi Arabia agreed to postpone the execution, initially scheduled for May 15, to allow further negotiations between the parties.

Mudavadi said he met with Munyakho's family, who are struggling to raise the blood money. 

“The challenge is that the deceased's family is demanding Sh150m. Munyakho’s family has raised about Sh10 million and continues to seek more funds,” Mudavadi told the Senate.

But, the Foreign Affairs CS also noted that the government has no budgetary provision to settle the Sh150 million blood money. “There is no budgetary provision for the government to settle this kind of situation, whether in Saudi Arabia or any other country.” 

The CS emphasised the government’s efforts to convince the deceased's family to reduce the demanded amount to enable a quicker resolution. 

Munyakho has been in custody for 13 years, since April 9, 2011, in Shimeisi Prison in the Governorate of Mecca, Saudi Arabia for allegedly killing his Yemen co-worker..