By Ebi Kesiena
The Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations has launched an inquiry into the plight of five Kenyans stranded in Malaysia.
According to the senate, members of the committee will inquire into the matter in collaboration with the ministries of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs and Interior and National Administration.
Senator Wakoli Wafula told the House that the five, all male, travelled to Malaysia on the promise of well-paying jobs, only for them to become victims of global trafficking in humans.
He said the victims were taken to Malaysia in the name of getting well-paying jobs by an agent, who organised for everything concerning the travel and other fees for them.
“The five are now stranded in Malaysia and are living in very deplorable conditions.
“They were handed over to another Kenyan in Malaysia, who took them to a Pakistani, who later handed them over again to an Indian, who thereafter, handed them over to a Chinese where they settled and started working, albeit without any signed contracts,” Wafula claimed.
The senator told the House the work of the five included loading and offloading heavy cargo.
“After two months, when they decided to ask for payment from their Chinese employer, they were told that they could not be paid because they had been bought and should be ready to work for three years before a decision on whether they should be paid could be made,” the senator further claimed.
He added that after another two months while working during a night shift, the five were thrown out by the employer without any compensation for their labour.
“Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order for the five to leave Malaysia, they need to pay a fine for overstaying their visa as they were not issued a work permit as earlier communicated to them. They now need money to pay for the overstay fine and flight tickets to come back home,” he said.
He added that the five had taken loans back home in Kenya in order to pay for the relevant agency fees for them to travel to Malaysia.
“Due to their lack of funds, the five are stuck in Malaysia,” the Senator said.
He however added that the five have written to the Kenyan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur seeking assistance but have not received a response.