March 20, 2019

Kenyan woman raped, jailed in Saudi Arabia reunites with her family

Lavina Mapenzi Ngolo at her home in Kisauni, Mombasa. []

A 27-year old Kenyan woman who has been at a Saudi Arabian Prison for the last one year has reunited with her family in Kisauni, Mombasa.

Lavina Mapenzi Ngolo left her Kisauni home in 2014 for Saudi Arabia after she was recruited by an employment agency.

Also: Kenyan girl held in Saudi Arabia risks stoning for alleged adultery

However, when she got to her work place in Riyadh, things turned sour after an Indian migrant, who was also employed by her boss as a driver raped her overnight in 2016.

They lived in the same flat. The man threatened her with a knife.

“The driver took advantage of the absence of our employer to attack me. Our employer had gone to visit her children. He accosted me as I came out of the house,” she told the Standard at her parent’s home in Kisauni.

She did not report the incident to her employer for fear of victimization. After a while though, she started feeling sickly and her employer’s son realized she could be pregnant. After a pregnancy test, it tested positive.

“It was my employer’s son who first expressed suspicions that I could be pregnant. After the truth came out, his mother suggested that I be quietly returned to Kenya. However, her son took me to a police station, where I was immediately arrested.”

In the Arabic country, engaging in illicit sex or sex before marriage is a crime which landed her in prison for one year while her attacker was handed a three-year jail term.

While in prison, she said, she was chained all the time but was spared a beating handed to other prisoners because she was pregnant.

She was not allowed to go to a clinic all this time. She gave birth to her son while still in prison, seven months after a grueling court battle.

About a week ago, she was released and driven to the airport where she was handed her Kenyan passport and boarded a flight back to Kenya aboard an Ethiopian Airline.

Her father, 75-year old Ngolo Baya said he is happy to have her daughter back home after a traumatic ordeal in foreign land.

Lavina had left behind another son who was at the time two years old.



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