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No budget for 'blood money' to save Kenyan jailed in Saudi Arabia - Mudavadi

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Munyakho's execution was to take place on May 15 but was postponed following the government's intervention.

The government has no budgetary allocation for the 'blood money' needed to save Kenyan Stephen Bertrand Munyakho from execution in Saudi Arabia over manslaughter, Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign Affairs minister Musalia Mudavadi has said.

Mudavadi made the revelation at the Senate on Wednesday in response to a question by Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki Mwinyihaji, on whether the government was aware of Munyakho's situation and what it was doing to help save his life and facilitate his return to his family in Kenya.

Munyakho was sentenced to death by sword after a fight in April 2011 with a colleague who succumbed to his injuries. He has spent 13 years in different Saudi prisons but has a chance to be freed if he raises the Sh150 million demanded by the victim's family as compensation for their loss.

Mudavadi told the senators that a few weeks ago, he officially wrote to the Saudi Arabia Foreign minister in an intervention against the execution.

"That execution was deferred; it did not take place," he said, adding that he also met Munyakho's family and had a conversation with the mother.

"The challenge is that there is a proposal that is being mooted by the family of the person who died that they be compensated to the equivalent of Sh150 million," he told the Senate.

He explained that the family had raised about Sh10 million and was looking for the balance,  noting that the government had not set aside funds to chip in.

"There is no budgetary provision for the government to settle this kind of situation, whether in Saudi or any other country, but the ministry and the government are doing what they can to see if this matter can be resolved differently and if the family that lost their individual can perhaps climb down from their high level of Sh150 million so that this case can be resolved," he said.

Munyakho's execution was to take place on May 15 but was postponed following the government's intervention.

"I am deeply grateful to inform [sic] that authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have kindly granted our request to postpone the impending execution of Stephen Munyakho (now known as Abdulkareem), to allow for further negotiations between all parties," Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing'oei said in a post on X at the time.

Mudavadi further stated that 316 Kenyans have lost their lives in the Gulf states from 2002 to date - in Saudi Arabia (166), Qatar (58), United Arab Emirates (51), Iraq (25), Bahrain (10), and Kuwait (six).

Official government records show that 416,548 Kenyans are in the Gulf States - 310,266 in Saudi Arabia, 66,025 in Qatar, 23,000 in the UAE, 8,000 in Bahrain, 5,392 in Oman, 3,515 in Kuwait, 200 in Iran, and 150 in Iraq.

"It should be noted that not all Kenyans register with our missions abroad despite being sensitised on the importance of such registrations, hence sometimes it is difficult to have precise data," Mudavadi said.

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