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Kenyan Woman Is Detained in Egypt

Reportedly, the 27-year-old from Meru is in custody for overstaying her entry papers to Egypt.

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A Kenyan woman is being locked up in a prison in Egypt and has spent close to three weeks now awaiting deportation proceedings.

The woman, identified as Linet Makena, was arrested and detained by immigration officials in the northeast African country on May 8 following a targeted operation that also saw two other Kenyans imprisoned as well.

Reportedly, the 27-year-old from Meru is in custody for overstaying her entry papers as she failed to leave under the terms of a non-immigrant visa, which expired in February this year.

Makena was in Egypt on a five-year visa from February 2018 when she went at the invitation of a relative who lived and worked there.

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She was 21 then, and her dream was to go and get a househelp job, which she did, to fend for herself and her family back home in Kenya.

Her mother, Julia Mwitari, says Makena used to send them money, but, in the past few years, things had hit a rough patch after her daughter got dumped by a Tanzanian boyfriend who was a student in Egypt but flew back to Tanzania after completing his studies.

Makena had fallen in love with the Tanzanian man, and the two got blessed with a baby girl in December 2019. Sadly, the child became sick, and she had to be in and out of jobs while catering for the hospital bills alone.

Now, her family has raised concerns for the four-year-old, who has been with a friend since the detention of her mother, and it is pleading with the state to help get them back to the country safely.

Makena’s mother, who is also a househelp, told Nation that she is unable to raise the money required to process the travel documents of their loved ones.

“On the day she was arrested, we spoke on Skype. She told me, ‘Mom, I am sick, but I don’t have money to go to the hospital. But don’t worry, all will be well…’ I told her that if I had a piece of land, I would sell it so that she could come back to Kenya. Later in the evening, I got the news that they had been arrested,” Mwitari was quoted.

She disclosed that single-handedly, she is not in a position to get the needed Ksh200,000 from her househelp job in Nairobi and had created a WhatsApp group with friends where they have jointly contributed Ksh2,000 so far.

Mwitari is appealing to the government, through the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, to intervene and bring Makena and her daughter back to the country.

The single mother said she is rushing against time because the documents belonging to Makena’s daughter will expire soon next month when it was hard to get since it involved contacting the Tanzanian father to write a letter to immigration authorities in Egypt acknowledging their wishful travel to Kenya.

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JUSTUS KIPRONO
JUSTUS KIPRONOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Justus Kiprono is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He tracks Capital Markets and economic trends, infrastructure reform, government spending, and the financial impacts of state decision-making nationwide. You can reach him: [email protected]
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