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Foreign Affairs PS faces backlash for remarks on Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia

Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau faces backlash following his remarks on Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia.

A section of Twitter users have harshly criticized Kamau Macharia, the principal secretary for foreign affairs, for his comments regarding Kenyans who travel to the Gulf states in search of employment.

Macharia was replying to Lizz Ntonjira, the director of communications for AMREF, who questioned why Kenyans working in Middle East countries were being denied fundamental human rights.

“Amb Kamau, but for your long will, our sisters continue being enslaved in the Middle East? How many lives have been lost in the past? Still, do these rogue agencies that send these young girls out there exist? What is being done?” Ntonjira enquired. 

In a rejoinder, the Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary said the government had on numerous occasions warned Kenyans against traveling to the Gulf Countries for employment but they did not listen.

“We have told Kenyans repeatedly to stop sending this category of workers to Saudi [Arabia]. You’ve chosen not to listen,” said Macharia in a statement on Twitter.

Macharia’s statement was not taken lightly by Kenyans who took to the comment section to express their disappointment.

Amb. Macharia Kamau, PS, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs has to be dismissed by the President from office if he has no balls to resign .. He doesn’t have any iota of understanding of Chapter 6 of the Constitution on the obligation of public servants. He lacks humility & decency, said @DonaldBKipkorir

“Kenyans deserve better. Kenyans deserve answers (irrespective of what category of work they do). Kenyans deserve action taken against human rights abuses happening to our young women in the middle east, who are tortured, and even killed! Not this cavalier and lackluster attitude,” Ntonjira said.

OK, Ambassador whoever. Question, who then constantly, continually licenses these very agencies that take Kenyans to Saudi? You work for us & your work should be to protect us. Your work should be to take a very hard stance at the Saudi government but instead, this? What a waste!, Cherotich Tanui said.

“Some of the young girls going to Saudi [Arabia] come from so deep in the villages and some have never heard of these warnings. Take action against agencies or compel Saudi Arabia to treat Kenyans better,” Lynne Wachira said.

“Is that the only response you had? You need to resign from your position and leave that post to a competent person,” Japhet Korir said.

“This is insensitive. Nobody goes there [Saudi Arabia] for fun. A majority of those who go do so to make a living since they’ve been failed by their home country,” Samuel Ouya weighed in.

The ambassador’s comments came a day after pictures of a Kenyan woman, Diana Chepkemoi, 24, who seemed to be severely underweight and had been jailed by her employer in Saudi Arabia, appeared online.

Kenyans were outraged by the images and demanded that the appropriate authorities act and bring her home safely.

Earlier today, PS Macharia assured that Chepkemoi was in safe hands after the Saudi Arabia ambassador took over the matter.

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