Reprieve for family of woman who died in Saudi Arabia after Sonko pledges support

Ms Jackline Muthoni who died in Saudi Arabia on June 10, 2022. The family learnt of their kin's death four months later.

Photo credit: Gitonga Marete I Nation Media Group

The family of Jackline Muthoni, who died in Saudi Arabia five months ago, got a reprieve after former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko and Imenti South MP Shadrack Mwiti pledged to help them bring the body to Kenya.

At least Sh500,000 is needed for an air ticket and mortuary fees, as well as transport from Nairobi to the family’s home in Kanyike, Imenti South, said James Kang’ethe, a relative.

Mr Kang’ethe said he had spoken to the two leaders who were willing to help them transport the body back home.

While Mr Sonko promised to pay for the air ticket and mortuary fees at Al-Eman General Hospital, where the body is preserved, Dr Mwiti will cater for transport from Nairobi and any other associated costs, including postmortem fees.

“We are happy that at least we are getting somewhere because we are now assured Muthoni will be brought back home. We also appreciate officials at the Foreign Affairs ministry who were very helpful,” Mr Kang’ethe said in a phone interview. 

Dr Mwiti confirmed in a text message to the Nation that he will help the family.
Meanwhile, Ms Muthoni’s friends in the Middle East country have launched a pressure group to establish who took her to hospital several days before she died on June 10.

Social media

“I was shocked to learn of the death of a friend with whom I shared a hostel on social media. When I moved to another town and left her in Riyadh, we lost contact,” one of her friends told Nation.Africa on the condition of anonymity.

“Here [in Saudi Arabia] there is no way you can take somebody to hospital and there is no record. Whoever took her there must have produced an identity card and that is what we are trying to establish. We will then be able to tell whether she was in a deportation camp or not.”

She claimed Ms Muthoni had been tortured by her employer when she moved to Saudi Arabia 10 years ago and wanted to return to Kenya only six months into the job.

“When she expressed her dissatisfaction with the job, her agent stopped communicating and blocked her phone number. She escaped from the torture, joined me and started looking for other jobs,” said the friend, adding that Ms Muthoni was a hardworking woman.

The mother of two died several days after being admitted to Al-Eman General Hospital. A death notice sent to her family said she succumbed to “haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and excessive bleeding”, the cause of which was unknown.