Written By Ramadhan Kambi 📝
A family which resides in Kakoneni area of Malindi Sub County in Kilifi County is in agony after their kin aged 22 died under unclear circumstances in Saudi Arabia where she worked as a house help.
The victim identified as Celina Kazungu is alleged to have died on March 8 but the family is yet to get information on when the body will be flown back home for burial.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Kazungu who has been working in the Middle East since July last year was stabbed and died while undergoing treatment at a Saudi Arabian hospital.
Family members and relatives’ efforts to get help so as to bring the body back home has borne no fruits ever since and have been left to mourn their kin not sure whether the body will be brought home.
Journalists visited the home and found the family in a somber mood with the mother who only speaks the local Giriama dialect demanding her daughter’s body back home for burial.
The mother, Dzendere Randu, broke down into tears upon thinking about her daughter who died thousands of miles away and is not sure of seeing her body.
“What I want is the body of my daughter, nothing else, help me bring her body back home,” she said.
So far, no preparations for burial have begun such as the digging of the grave but family members revealed that for the last three weeks no one has been able to go to work due to the unsolved puzzle of whether the body will be flown back home or not.
They are appealing to the government and specifically president Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and help them get back the body of their kin for burial as per the Mijikenda culture.
The Deceased’s elder brother Owen Kazungu who was close to his late sister and is well versed with all the process that went on until she traveled to Saudi Arabia to look for greener pastures after failing to go to high school due to financial constraints at home.
Mr Kazungu said he tried reaching out to her sister on phone on March 8 as it was usual for him to communicate with her but her phone went unanswered.
In an interview at their home, he said attempts to get information about her whereabouts from friends who are also in the middle east proved futile as they also could not reach her on phone.
He said that they went to Human Rights office in Kilifi who later informed them that her sister was in hospital after making follow up.
“On March 10 I got the information she was in ICU in critical condition, we tried to inquire whether she could come home for treatment but we were told that she could not travel in the state she was in until she got better,” he said.
He said on March 17 the family received some information that she was dead and efforts to get the body back has been difficult as each time they are given dates.
He said the family has been suffering for the last three weeks not knowing what to do, and cannot begin any burial arrangements without getting a clear date of when the body would be flown in.
“I would urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to help us bring the body home so that we can bury it as per our traditions,” he said.
Documents seen by the media show that the deceased signed a Domestic Service Worker contract with a Saudia Arabian Employer called Manaal Muidh Rasheed Alanazi of ID number 1012007447.
A relative of the deceased Mr Ismail Mweni said they just got a phone call that Celina was in ICU followed by another call that she was dead.
He said they have been trying all means to ensure the body of the girl was brought back home but had not succeeded.
“We received the news with a lot of sadness. I was just awakened by the information that had been brought home. Since that day we have struggled with no success. I urge the government to help us bring the body of my daughter,” he said.
Mr Mweni said they have been given false promises that the body was coming and are wondering what was happening out there.
Fred Kazungu a relative of the deceased said he has been in touch with her ever since she traveled and was always jovial.
He said she has been very supportive to the family after completing primary school and could not proceed to high school forcing her to begin house help work in Nairobi before traveling to Saudi Arabia.
Mr Kazungu said she was the one funding education of her young brother who is in high school at Jaribuni secondary as the family is poor adding that her death is a big blow to the family.
“It has been a challenge since the news came about the death as people have been unable to go to work. Ihas been difficult to even begin making burial arrangements as the grave has not been dug due to the uncertainties,” he said.
Malindi parliamentary aspirant Kenneth Karisa said the death was a big loss to the family and called on the government to help them bring the body back home for burial.
He said reports they got were that the girl was stabbed and admitted in ICU before she died which was very sad to lose such a young soul.
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