Family of Kenyan woman stuck in Saudi prison appeals for help

April 27, 2023

A family of a Kenyan woman who is serving a 17-year jail term in Saudi Arabia is appealing for help.

Paulina Wanjiru Ndung’u, 45, was reportedly sentenced in 2019 for attempted murder after being accused of trying to poison her employer’s food.

However, her family says the details of the case are scanty and the circumstances in which Wanjiru was convicted of the crime are still unclear.

Her sister Mary Wairimu mentioned that they heard that Ms Wanjiru was jailed for practicing black magic.

Wairimu said her sister traveled to Saudi Arabia in December 2017 to work as a domestic worker.

“I had my reservations but my sister was adamant,” she told Nation.Africa in an interview.

The publication reports that Wanjiru made her first visit back to Kenya in 2019. She brought her family goodies and was looking forward to her continued stay in Saudi Arabia.

But Wairimu still held reservations about her sister working in Gulf. She said Wanjiru told them her employer still owed her dues and assured them that all would be well.

“She argued that her employer owed her more than Sh500,000. I told my sister to look for ways of getting the cash without travelling back but she refused,” Wairimu said.

Eventually, Wanjiru flew back to Saudi before she was jailed in AlMalaz prison in Riyadh.

“The details about the case are scanty. As a family we have not been able to establish what exactly transpired. We are appealing to the Kenyan embassy to come to our rescue,” Wairimu said.

Adding: “I don’t know if we can get legal representation. We are in the dark.”

Another Kenyan woman who shared a cell with Wanjiru returned to the country recently.

Susan Njoki Njoroge said she managed to secure her own release and was sent by Wanjiru to deliver a message to her mother and siblings.

“She is suffering mental anguish and just wants to return home,” Njoki said adding that she also has High Blood Pressure.

“With legal representation, I am optimistic she may be able to secure release. I was able to read through her court papers and confirmed that she has actually been jailed for slightly more than 17 years. My humble appeal is for the Kenyan government to come to her aid,” added Njoki.

Wanjiru’s family said they are hoping to find Pro-Bono representation as they are not making progress in pursuing the case.

They have also turned to social media platforms to highlight Wanjiru’s plight in hopes of getting help from a Good Samaritan.

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