In June 2012, the government had placed a ban on Kenyans travelling to the Middle East to seek for employment. I don’t know why or what made them change their mind but in November 2013 the ban was quietly lifted. I am of the opinion that this whole job employment issue in the Middle East – especially as domestic workers- should be re looked into.
They say all is well that ends well. That may or may not be the case with one Catherine Wambui Wanyoike, a woman who was held captive by the Saudi Arabian family she’d been working for. A 36 year old single mother, Catherine fell and injured her leg one day while taking her employers kids for a walk.
And herein is the part I do not understand with some of these citizens from the Middle East. If your employee falls and injures their leg, there is one of two things you can at least carry out. The first one is to take her to hospital. If you think that is too much for you, you can release her, together with her travelling documents, so that she goes back to where she came from to seek the medical help that she so urgently requires.
Well, this Saudi Arabian family did neither of those. Instead, they locked her up for six months during which time her leg got worse and developed a septic wound that was slowly morphing into a weird growth. To make matters worse, her employer confiscated her documents so she could not travel.
I honestly don’t know what they take in Saudi Arabia but some of those people can be extremely heartless and cruel. Because try as much as I can I do not understand how holding a sick woman who cannot even work captive benefits you. How? Eventually Catherine managed to flee and a Good Samaritan Kenyan woman she found on the streets took her in. But then another problem arose; she could not travel because her employer still refused to release her documents (I honestly cannot understand these people no matter how hard I try to).
Fortunately she got a hold of a reporter from the Nairobi News and they put her story out there, eventually pleading with the government to intervene.
I started by saying that all is well that ends well, that maybe that could be the case with Catherine. She finally managed to come back home and the video of her landing back in the country was a really emotional one. We are so happy for her and her family that she is back home.
But she still has a long way to go, because I would like to believe that the trauma she underwent, the emotional abuse could be worse that the physical pain she has been through. Her sister, Joyce wairimu concurs. She says, “She has to be sedated all the time because she is still in a state of depression and sometimes she doesn’t know where she is.”
We can only include Catherine in our prayers and wish her a quick recovery. Watch the video of her landing back in the country below.