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Kenyans looking to work in Saudi Arabia to be vetted by Immigration

Kenyans seeking to be employed as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia will not be allowed to travel without fulfilling a set of requirements issued by the government on November 7.

According to Foreign Affairs, CS Alfred Mutua, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, a joint Technical Team of Kenya and Saudi Arabia Government officials has also been set up to fast-track Labour issues, including the issue of exit visas.

The team is scheduled to start their work on November 17 officially.

“To this end, as an immediate short-term venture, we’ll be issuing new procedures which will have to be followed before we grant clearance for any Kenyan to travel as a domestic worker to any country,” Dr. Mutua said.

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“Kenyan immigration officers will also not allow Kenyans to travel out of the country as domestic workers without fulfilling the set requirements starting on Monday, 7,” he said.

Dr. Mutua who also met with Saudi Arabia Foreign Affairs minister His Highness Faisal bin Farhan said that after listening to some of the victims, the problem facing Kenyan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia start from Kenya.

He claims that massive corruption and cartels have taken up some of the agencies used by Kenyans to seek employment in Arabic countries.

“Listening to the victims, agents, Kenya Government officials and Saudi, Government officials, it is clear that the problems facing some our people start back home in Kenya. The system is flawed and corrupt and unless it’s fixed, nothing will change,” he explained.

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“There is massive corruption in how Kenyans are prepared before they leave to be domestic workers in Saudi Arabia and follow up of Kenyans when they arrive.

This is a major concern to everyone, including the Government of Saudi Arabia. We have to break the cartels and streamline the agencies, some of which are owned by prominent Kenyans.

We have agreed to work on a modality to get Kenyan Labour agencies to have offices in Saudi Arabia to deal with issues concerning their clients,” he said.

In addition, agencies will also have to comply in providing healthcare to Kenyans, including those in the country illegally.

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“We have dedicated an emergency hotline for Kenyans in Saudi Arabia to call when facing any difficulties. The emergency hotline number at the Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh is +966500755060.

I have requested an Amnesty to be granted to Kenyans who have fallen out of status and are residing here illegally, those who cannot access medical care so that their documents can be legalized and others given passage to return home,” Dr. Mutua said.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wishes to get more Kenyans employed in their country and we will play our part as a Government to ensure that more Kenyans can work and earn well working in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

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