Foreign affairs PS blames Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia for their misfortune saying they are not submissive.
According to Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Ambassador Kamau Macharia, certain Kenyans who work in Saudi Arabia are mistreated as a result of their behavior.
On September 19, while addressing members of the 13th Parliament at the Safari Park Hotel claimed that some employees, in particular domestic servants, do not want to submit to their bosses.
The PS explained that although workers prefer to work with subservient people—using Saudi Arabia as an example—some workers are hard-headed and may put themselves in danger.
“There are some places the kind meekness and submissiveness required from domestic workers is not innate in Kenyans seeking those jobs.
“Sometimes our people will not be so subservient and when they go to these countries like Saudi Arabia are very ancient. The people who suffer terrible beatings, and abuse are usually people of that category – house helps,” Macharia noted.
Foreign affairs PS blamed this on a cultural gap among job seekers exploring opportunities in the Middle East.
He challenged the Ministry of Labour should train the exported labour force on how to handle diversity and instill socio-cultural tolerance.
He argued that if the situation was as dire as portrayed, then the majority of Kenyans working in various sectors would have also raised concerns about the employment conditions.
“In that same country, we have over 100,00 Kenyans working in multiple industries who have no problem, We have to ask ourselves; are we exporting the right category of personnel? Do they have the right capacity and training to understand that culture?” he posed.
Macharia urged the MPs to handle the situation carefully since hastily enacting policies could jeopardize Kenya’s diplomatic and labor relations with the Gulf nations.
“I urge you to be careful that as we deal with this problem, we do not destroy this amazing opportunity we have for jobs for young Kenyans in the Middle East.”
The Ambassador was responding to questions raised by the lawmakers on the welfare of workers in the Middle East amid rising cases of Kenyans being mistreated and even killed in the Middle East.