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Domestic worker rescued in Middle East

A 23 year old girl from Kajiado County has arrived in the country after months of alleged mistreatment by her employer in Abu Dhabi where she worked as a domestic worker.

Lillian Rimanto, arrived in the country after eight harrowing months of trying to get back home after her employer confiscated her passport and personal belongings. She had travelled to the UAE last year and had only worked for one year before she fell out with her employer.

She said she was forced to run away due to mistreatment and seek refuge at a residence where fellow Kenyans took her in before she made the journey back home.

“I travelled to look for work last year in Abu Dhabi but I faced a lot of mistreatment and harsh working conditions before I was forced to run away but it has been a struggle coming back home as my employer retained all my documents,” she said.

It took a secret visit to Dubai by Governor Joseph Ole Lenku last month to negotiate her evacuation to Kenya by the Kenyan Embassy in UAE through Ambassador Kariuki Mugwe.

Lenku paid for her air ticket, enabling her to arrive in the country.

“I see a brave girl who had managed to venture out of the country at 22 years. She has survived all the horrors and she is now back. We are happy that we have managed to return her safely. It is a big relief to us,” said the Governor.

Immediately after arrival, Rimanto, accompanied by her sister Lorna Lemayian and Aunt Peninah Soila headed straight to the Governor’s office in Kajiado town where she was received and welcomed back to the country before they headed to her home in Oloitokitok.

Soila said their efforts to evacuate the girl had hit a deadlock until the Governor intervened and secretly travelled to Dubai on a mission to rescue her.

“We had two options, to get Lillian back to Kenya alive or as a corpse. We are elated that she has come safe and healthy. It is a blessing to us and we thank the Governor for coming out strongly for our family,” said Soila.

The media in the recent past has been awash with cases of domestic workers being abused by their employers in the Middle East.

According to the Ministry of Labor, 97 Kenyans have died in one of the Middle East countries in just two years under allegations of rape, torture and mistreatment.

On June 21, the body of Jane Waheto, a resident of Kiserian in Kajiado County arrived in the country after she died under unclear circumstances in Doha Qatar in 2020 where she had gone to seek greener pastures.

It is alleged that she had fallen out with her employer before she was found dead in her room. Her family has been left seeking for answers on the cause of her death.

On July 29, the body of Caroline Alouch, a second year student, who had flown to Saudi Arabia to eke a living after failing to raise fees arrived in the country with the cause of death alleged to be suicide.

Her family however disputed the cause of death with an autopsy conducted on her body revealing her body had blisters and her neck had compressions.

These among other cases are reported daily but despite the gruesome statistics, many women still flock recruitment agencies seeking domestic work in the Middle East.

The Labor Ministry has advised those seeking domestic work in the Middle East to register with the Kenyan embassy and also ensure that the recruitment agency they use is registered.

By Rop Janet

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