The family of Diana Chepkemoi, a Kenyan student who had been detained in Saudi Arabia, has revealed a chilling phone conversation with their kin's employer who had reached out to them.
Speaking to Citizen TV, Chepkemoi's sister, Lorrain Cheptoo, affirmed that the employer had dismissed the harassment claims and termed the 24-year-old student as a tireless complainer who sought excuses to avoid work.
Cheptoo, however, maintained that her sister was under duress working for the employer which led to the deterioration of her health.
“You could tell something was wrong, she said the boss was mistreating her, she was ill, couldn’t access hospital and her health was deteriorating quickly. The boss would only give her painkillers," she stated.
The sister pointed out that different agencies took action only after Chepkemoi's story caused widespread condemnation and uproar after her photos surfaced online capturing her desperate state. Cheptoo confirmed that her sister would be returning to the country on the next flight as she awaits her visa to be processed.
Susan Makungu, the agent who facilitated Chepkemoi's employment in the gulf country, also condemned the actions against the 24-year-student. She highlighted that her past attempts to rescue Chepkemoi were curtailed by the employer.
"I was ready to pay the air ticket, I was waiting for foreign affairs and the Kenyan embassy to go to the house and give her an exit. She is not lying she is speaking the truth, she is sick and they are mistreating her," Makungu stated.
Chepkemoi's case highlights one of the many situations that several Kenyans face after travelling to Gulf countries in search of greener pastures.
Foreign PS Macharia Kamau also came under sharp criticism after he blamed the Kenyans travelling to Saudi Arabia for disobeying the government's warning.
"We have told Kenyans repeatedly to stop sending this category of workers to Saudi [Arabia]. You’ve chosen not to listen," Macharia stated.
The statement attracted the ire of Kenyans online who tore into the matter and faulted the government for turning a blind eye to the plight of many citizens in the gulf countries.