A section of Kenyans took to social media last week to condemn the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for laxity when it comes to mediating and helping Kenyans involved in legal tussles in other countries.
This came about when a Facebook post by entrepreneur Sam Gichuru, detailing how a young tech guy by the name Zak Muriuki, died in a prison in Ethiopia after he was arrested just a day after landing in the country for a job assignment and charged with “telecommunications fraud”.
According to the post by Sam Gichuru, Zak was jailed for two years without trial and when they finally reached out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they only said that “Ethiopia is a difficult country”. Sadly Zak would end up dying in the prison after 20 months in detention.
“This guy in blue is Zak, he is a Kenyan engineer, a good techie, an amazing Dad and a very nice guy.
He was assigned by his company a job in Ethiopia, He arrived on 9th Jan 2015, he was arrested on 10th, the next day by the Ethiopian Govt and accused of “telecommunication fraud”, Zak had barely worked since he had just landed. No evidence was ever presented against him.
The Employer and Friends tried to get in-touch with the Kenyan Ambassador to Ethiopia Mrs Catherine Mwangi and she was nowhere to be found for close to 2 years, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “Ethiopia is a difficult country”, Ministry of ICT… oh well.
Zack is back home from prison, after 20 months, in a coffin. He died in an Ethiopian Jail… and we could do nothing about it.
We are angry…. you should be to. Share and let this Government know we are Angry.
RIP Zak Muriuki,” read the post by Sam Gichuru.
Four Kenyans Detained In South Sudan
Zak’s story is a sad one indeed and the news comes hot in the heels of a mounting public pressure for the government to intervene and bring back home another four Kenyan men detained in South Sudan under similar circumstances.
The four Kenyans namely; Antony Keya, Boniface Muriuki, Ravi Ghaghda and Anthony Wazome are among 16 people, convicted in June this year and jailed for life for allegedly stealing 1.4 billion from president Salva Kiir’s office.
They were arrested on May 29, 2015 by the National Security Service of the government of South Sudan.
The accused are former employees of a company known as Click Technologies limited owned by John Ogou, a politician and brother-in-law of South Sudan President Salva Kiir who used to work as a senior security officer in President Kiir’s office, before he was accused of forging documents bearing the president’s signature to secure financial approvals from the country’s central bank.
Last month, Kenya Human Rights Commission has sued the state protesting the sentencing of four Kenyans in neighboring South Sudan.
KHCR has sued foreign Affairs cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed, her Principal Secretary and the Attorney-General Githu Muigai and has also accused the government of hiding crucial information from families of the four victims.
KHRC will show this court that the primary duty of any government is to safeguard the life, limb and property of all its citizens wherever they may be found and that the sued parties are enough instruments as well as judicial forums to follow up such a matter,” said their lawyers.
The families of the four Kenyans have maintained that they were not given a fairing hearing and accused the government of not giving them details surrounding the case.