Kenyan woman Gloria Mutuku dies in Saudi Arabia

Family wants help to fly home daughter who died in Saudi Arabia

A family in Makueni has been thrown into mourning after their daughter died in Saudi Arabia. 

Gloria Mutuku died on New Year while receiving treatment at a Saudi Arabia hospital after reportedly becoming delusional while working there as a domestic worker. 

Ms Grace Wachuru, the agent who linked Gloria to her employer, broke the news on Tuesday.

Gloria’s home at Kambili Village in Makueni County was a beehive of activities Wednesday as her friends, relatives and neighbours struggled to come to terms with the death. 

They appealed to the government to help fly the body home for burial.

 “We are opposed to a plan by the agent to have Gloria buried in Saudi Arabia. Such a move will haunt the family forever. We are requesting the government to intervene and help us transfer the body home for burial,” said James Kituna, an uncle to Gloria who took her in after her parents died when she was a toddler.  

Gloria’s death comes at a time authorities are concerned about the welfare of Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia. It occurred five months after she landed the job. 

Two shanties at the homestead and abandoned farmland pointed at the huge responsibility Gloria was expected to shoulder. She is survived by a 2-year-old son and eight siblings. The family said Gloria’s death had dealt them a huge blow.

Educate her siblings

As the kinsmen took turns in recalling their last moments with Gloria, it was evident they were upbeat when she landed the job. 

“Since we are orphans we expected Gloria would be the pillar of our family. We expected she would make enough money to educate her siblings, build us decent houses and pull the family from poverty,” her sister Eunice Ndinda said.

 “We used to chat almost daily for the five months she was in Saudi Arabia. She has always been in high spirits. When she spoke last on Christmas Day, however, she excused herself from our daily communication routine. She said she was unwell. She said she had developed a headache and eye problem,” another Gloria’s sister Elizabeth Mwende said. 

Gloria Mutuku

Relatives of Gloria Mutuku at their home in Kambili Village in Makueni County on January 4, 2022. Gloria died while receiving treatment at a Saudi Arabia hospital.

Photo credit: Pius Maundu | Nation Media Group

Three days later, Ms Mwende learned from Gloria’s boss that her elder sister had been hospitalised after developing “a strange behaviour.” 

According to a medical report seen by the Nation.Africa, medics diagnosed the 28-year-old with delusions (a false belief or judgment about external reality, held despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, occurring especially in mental conditions). 

The report lists cardiomyopathy, a heart disease of the heart muscle, as the cause of death. 

"We want to know the circumstances in which she died," said Mr Kasina.

Ms Wachuru said she had initiated talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have the body flown home. 

“These cases are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I have done my part by notifying officials about the incident. Let us be patient,” she told the Nation.Africa on phone.