178 workers stormed Kitengela police station to ask for help after being scammed by an agent who had promised them jobs abroad.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, May 23, the women stated that the agent had abandoned them at a thicket in Kitengela after going through a six-week training to prepare them for jobs in Saudi Arabia and other countries.
They also lamented that their documentation including identity cards and birth certificates had been withheld by the organisation after they were assured that they would receive free plane tickets and a well-paying job awaiting them.
“The organisation kept telling us that we were supposed to continue with our training as we waited for an exam that never came. When we asked for any more details about the jobs we were asked to leave,” one of the women stated.
Additionally, the women stated that they were subjected to harsh conditions during the training adding that they only had one meal a day that was served in small portions.
Some of them revealed that they had run away from home out of desperation for work and their families did not know of their whereabouts.
“Some of us do not know where we are because we came from other parts of the country. We were only looking for jobs and the agents promised that we would be safe and get good salaries to help our families,” added one of the workers.
However, Kitengela OCPD David Ole Shani directed the women to Athi River stating that the agent was not in their jurisdiction.
Although the government had put in place plans to ensure the safety of Kenyans in the diaspora especially in Saudi Arabia, Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary Roseline Njogu on May 17 warned Kenyans against falling prey to rogue agents.
According to Njogu, despite continuous caution, some Kenyans were duped because of the desperation to get jobs with the surging levels of unemployment in the country.
She stated that it was important to cross-check the opportunities abroad with the ones posted on the ministry's website to avoid getting scammed.
"The National Employment Authority has a number of opportunities and by the time they put the opportunities there, those are legit.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also puts up opportunities that we know are credible but people are hunting for jobs and it is a desperate situation so some people are taking advantage of that," she stated.