June 21, 2018

Kenyan girl held in Saudi Arabia risks stoning for alleged adultery

Lavina Mapenzi, a Kenyan woman in Saudi Arabia Prison for the last two years. [courtesy]

A family from Kisauni in Mombasa is appealing for government’s intervention to bring back their daughter who has been detained in Saudi Arabia for the last two years.

Lavina Mapenzi Ngolo according to her family has been detained in a Saudi Prison where she awaits a death sentence for allegedly being in love with a fellow employee.

According to the Standard, Lavina left her Kisauni home in 2014 after she was recruited by an employment agency and promised to return two years later to take care of her son who was three years old then and who has been under the care of her sister, Esther Kaidza.

Kaidza said in 2016, they received a call from another Kenyan woman who informed them that Lavina was arrested for allegedly having an affair with a fellow employee, a driver in the same compound and that she was pregnant.

“There was first an Arab-speaking caller but there was a communication barrier. Then a Kenyan woman called to say Lavina was in custody because of a relationship she had with a driver and that she was pregnant,” said Kaidza.

She added that they reported this to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they have not heard anything since then.

“We sent relatives to the ministry immediately we received the report. We were promised action but we have not heard from Government since then.”

Tragedy is that both her employer in Saudi and her agent in Kenya cannot be traced.

“We have no details of the town, employer or recruitment agent. We are afraid for her life,” her brother Katana Baya said.

Baya said reports they have so far indicate that her sister may have been sentenced by a Saudi Court and likely punishment for such a crime in the Arab country is death by stoning.

Fred Kombo, a Kenyan resident in Dubai who was contacted by Lavina’s family to help in her search said that it was impossible to locate her employer.

“The recruitment agent who got her the job has since gone under and none of her contacts can be reached.”

He noted that Lavina’s family had a reason to worry because their daughter if charged under Saudi’s mortality law could be in danger.

“If both (Ngolo and her boyfriend) were reported to the Saudi police for having an affair out of wedlock, they would have been promptly charged with the grave offence of adultery that attracts death by stoning,” offered Kombo.

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