A Kenyan family was left stranded at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after the body of their kin failed to arrive from abroad.
The family from Lugari, Kakamega County arrived at the airport on Tuesday night to receive the remains of 21-year-old Slaida Vugutsa, who died in Saudi Arabia in January.
They were left stranded after they were informed that her body did not arrive as there was a mix-up in the consignment during transit in Germany.
“It is disturbing that we traveled from Western to receive the body of my sister only to be told it was not on the plane. The staff appeared confused when we demanded to see the body. They later informed our driver that the consignment was left in Germany by mistake,” the deceased’s brother Patrick Talia said.
The family says it incurred losses after the owner of the hearse they had hired to ferry the body to Lugari from the airport demanded they pay an extra Sh40,000 on top of the initial Sh60,000 fees due to the delay caused.
“We hired a hearse on Monday so that the team could have time to rest before reporting to JKIA. We were told that the body will be arriving on Thursday night but the hearse owner insisted that we pay Sh40,000 because of the delay,” Talia said.
They were forced to cancel burial plans as they wait for the body to arrive in Nairobi. A family member said they suspect the body did not even leave Saudi Arabia.
Vugutsa allegedly passed away on January 29th but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the family of her demise on March 22nd.
The deceased is said to have fled her home in January 2020 after completing her high school studies and traveled to Saudi Arabia for work.
She had last contacted her family in August 2020 before the ministry informed them of her death in March 2021.
The agent who facilitated her travel to the Middle East country is reported to have footed the expenses to bring her body back home.
“Vugutsa, the last born in a family of six, was found dead in a thicket in Saudi Arabia. Some parts of her body were missing, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Talia added.