Ensure funds for labour attachés in Middle East

In Summary

• Remittance from the Kenya diaspora now bring in almost Sh300 billion every year.

• There are an estimated 200,000 Kenyans working in the Middle East including 55,000 in Dubai.

A Kenyan woman is being investigated by police for taking Kenyans to Dubai and getting them to work long hours for little pay under false pretences. 

The DCI's Serious Crimes Unit is right to make a high priority of the investigation into this disgraceful recruitment agency. But we must be careful not to over-react as overseas remittances now bring in almost Sh300 billion annually.

Some remittances come from highly paid professionals but most come from workers doing routine jobs such as drivers, guards, cooks, cleaners, airport handlers, and waiters and waitresses. Their conditions may be basic but the money they save can potentially transform their lives, and often does.

There are 55,000 Kenyans working in Dubai. We certainly don't want them all to come home. 

Last year the then Labour CS Ukur Yatani said the government was putting Labour attachés into embassies to monitor and assist the estimated 200,000 Kenyans working in the Middle East. That is the right way forward. Let Treasury CS Yatani now ensure that the next budget provides for these officers to be in place so that they can protect Kenyans abroad.

Quote of the day: "The inhabitants (of Lamu) are pious, honourable, and upright, and they have well-built mosques."

Ibn Battuta
The Moroccan traveller was born on February 25, 1304.