Qatar Govt Issues Ultimatum to Kenya Over Workers Plight

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Dr Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, who is the Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar at State House on Thursday, May 6, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Dr Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, who is the Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar at State House on Thursday, May 6, 2020.
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  • Qatar Government has issued an ultimatum to Kenya- urging the removal of employment agencies as an intermediary in a bid to ease the plight of workers within the Arabian country. 

    This emerged after a meeting held on Sunday, February 20, between Central Organisation of Trade Unions in Kenya (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli and Minister of Labour in Qatar Ali bin Samikh Al Marri whereby they agreed to begin negotiations on the treatment of Kenyan workers within the region.

    Both parties agreed that agencies played a key role in sneaking in Kenyans to the gulf states- a factor that the Qatar Minister pointed out.

    COTU boss Francis Atwoli meets the Deputy Speaker of The Shura Council (Parliament) Dr, Hamida Hassan Al-Sulaiti on Sunday, February 20.
    COTU boss Francis Atwoli meets the Deputy Speaker of The Shura Council (Parliament) Dr, Hamida Hassan Al-Sulaiti on Sunday, February 20.
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    He noted that they are currently in the process of canceling the operations of 12 licenses belonging to Kenyan-owned employment agencies.

    The Minister pointed out that some of the agencies were owned and operated by senior government officials. 

    Marri also urged the Kenyan government to establish a mutual relationship between the two countries. 

    The meeting was part of the African trade union mission to Doha, Qatar, that sought to promote trade relations between the two states. 

    Both Atwoli and Marri agreed that protection measures of Kenyan workers had to be initiated especially in the surge in the number of complaints from the Kenyan side. 

    Further, after the talks, Atwoli met with Deputy Speaker of the Shura Council, Hamida Hassan Al-Sulaiti, with details of the conversation remaining scanty. 

    The number of cases rising in the Arabian countries has become a cause for concern in the Kenyan government.

    Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau had suggested a temporary ban of Kenyan workers to the Arabian nation until a permanent solution is formulated.

    "As additional measures to protect the rights and welfare of migrant workers are put in place, the ministry recommends for temporary ban of recruitment and export of domestic workers to Saudi Arabia."

    “The statics indicate the dire reality that we face. It warrants bold and decisive action to curb further suffering of Kenyan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia,” he stated. 

    Saudi Arabia Capital City, Riyadh.
    Saudi Arabia Capital City, Riyadh.
    Aljazeera