, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7 – The government has urged Kenyans to be extra cautious before accepting overseas jobs, however lucrative the opportunities may seem, saying that “all that glitters is not gold.
Speaking when four Kenyans who were sentenced to life imprisonment in South Sudan in May 2015 were reunited with their families Thursday, a delighted Monica Juma, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured the public that they will do all in their power to secure the interests of Kenyans working abroad but also challenged everyone to do proper due diligence before travelling overseas for jobs.
“We are happy to present 4 Kenyans who have been custody since May 2015,” she said.
“I also wish to take this opportunity to also caution Kenyans that are travelling abroad particularly on promises of taking up job, it is very important that we take due diligence.”
She stressed the importance of involving the government noting that they have a fully fledged Diaspora Affairs Department that can come in handy when one wants to travel abroad for a job.
“It is important to involve the government so that we can do due diligence to know the nature of the companies promising them jobs,”
Anthony Mwadime, Ravi Ramesh, Boniface Muriuki and Anthony Keya, appreciated President Uhuru Kenyatta who negotiated their release after holding talks with his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir.
“First, we want to thank the President who did all within his powers to have us released. We want to thank the ministry of foreign officials who did well to come for us,” he said.
Accompanied by their family members, Ravi Ramesh who spoke on behalf of the four was thankful for the efforts that led to their release following their arrest on suspicion of conspiring to steal Sh1.5 billion from the presidency finally bore fruit.
“It’s been a long torturous journey but we are happy to be home.”
Keya said that it was surreal, terming it like a dream that they thought would come to an end.
“I did not sleep well last night because it looked like a dream that we could wake up from. I also had nightmares,” he said.
They said the whole episode though looking short like two years lasted for an eternity for them.
“Psychologically, it looked like we were there for years. It was too long,” Muriuki said.
When they arrived at the airport on Wednesday aboard a Kenya Airways flight, the media did not get a chance to speak to them, government officials choosing to use a different exit away from the scribes.
However, on Thursday at La Mada hotel where they spent their first night after being released from the Juba prison where they had called home for the last two years, their families walked in some holding their children in their hands while their faces visibly covered with joy.
When the time for them to be reunited with their families came, they were taken to a room that had been prepared for them but media wasn’t allowed in.
The four looked calm and careful in their speech.
Their families too looked reserved, blocking questions about the state of the prisons in Juba and how they were treated.