Recruitment agencies' alleged complicity in torture of a Kenyan migrant worker in Iraq
Author: Sigomba Omar, Standard Digital (Kenya), Published on: 26 September 2019
“Kenyan woman recalls eight months of hell in Iraq”
Eight months ago, Lucia Nekesa, a mother of three, left Kenya and crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Iraq after securing a well-paying house girl job. She was happy to secure the job which she thought would change her life and help her raise her children, unaware of the brutality that lay ahead. The contract she had signed with agents in Kenya indicated that she would work in Qatar but she was surprised to find out that she would be flown to Iraq.
The change had been made without her knowledge. Recalling the moments of torture in her eight months in Iraq, Lucia could not hold her tears on Tuesday as she narrated her ordeal in the hands of her heartless Arabic employer. Speaking to reporters at the Haki Africa offices in Mombasa, Lucia said she was battered for eight months in Iraq. A false accusation would be made as a prelude to the beatings…She was then given a choice of returning to Kenya and refund the money her boss had used to facilitate her travel to Iraq on top of the six hundred thousand shillings used to ‘buy’ her from the agency or continue to work.
Nekesa chose the latter. “It was very hard for the boss to let me go because he had paid a lot of money for me. So they always took me back to the agency for exchange but all I got was punishment for not being able to work”… She was taken back to the agency where she was battered with the boss accusing of stealing her money. “I don’t know where my boss got the money she produced as evidence of my alleged theft.” She was then sold like a slave to another agency.