Saudi Arabia Postpones Stephen Munyakho's Execution After Diplomatic Intervention

Korir Sing'Oei
Principal Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Korir Sing'Oei during an address on Thursday, May 11, 2023.
Korir Sing'Oei

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, May 13, announced that it had been able to negotiate the postponement of the execution of Stephen Munyakho in Saudi Arabia. 

This was announced by Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Singo'ei.

Singo'ei in a statement noted that the authorities in Saudi Arabia had granted Kenya's request to postpone Munyakho's execution so as to allow further negotiation between all parties. 

The Kenyan who has since changed his name to Abdulkareem was set to be executed on Wednesday, May 15, after he was found guilty of killing a Yemeni national in Saudi Arabia. 

Veteran journalist Dorothy Kweyu (left) and her son stephen bertrand munyakho
Veteran journalist Dorothy Kweyu (left) and her son Stephen Bertrand Munyakho

"As we devise strategies to bring this matter to a more acceptable conclusion, and thereby giving both families the closure they so urgently need and deserve, we shall continue to lean on the warm and solid friendship that we have with our Saudi partners, as well as on the goodwill of all Kenyans," a statement from PS Sing'oei read in part.

"In the coming days, we shall be engaging stakeholders in Nairobi and Riyadh, including representations from our religious leadership, to agree on the next urgent steps."

Singo'ei while appreciating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia noted that this would not have been possible without diplomatic interventions led through the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Kenya's mission in Riyadh.

Munyakho is the son of veteran journalist Dorothy Kweyu who had begged the Kenyan government to intervene and save her son from the hangman.

The Kenyan has been behind bars since 2012 and he had been asked to raise Ksh150 million to compensate the Yemeni national family or face execution. 

Kweyu sought the government's help after attempts to raise the hefty sum proved futile. 

On May 8, PS Singo'ei revealed that President William Ruto's administration had directed the Kenyan Saudi Ambassador Mohamed Ruwange to intervene and explore every diplomatic solution possible to avert the execution.

He further revealed that there was a possibility that Munyakho's family would not be required to pay the Ksh150 million. 

Inside the Shimeisi Prison in the Governorate of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Inside the Shimeisi Prison in the Governorate of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Gazette