Kenyans jailed in South Sudan got presidential pardon – Monica Juma

The four Kenyans who had been jailed in South Sudan for the last two years were granted a presidential pardon.

The group jailed on theft charges landed at JKIA after weeks of talks between the the Kenyan and South Sudanese governments.

Anthony Keya, Boniface Muriuki, Ravi Ghaghda and Anthony Mwadime arrived minutes before 7pm on Wednesday.

The four were received by Foreign Affairs PS Monica Juma and Jasper Mbiuki who works with the presidency.

Foreign Affairs PS Monica Juma with two of the four Kenyans who had been jailed in South Sudan, December 7, 2017. /PATRICK VIDIJA

The four were arrested on May 29, 2015, alongside 12 others – mostly South Sudanese nationals – and jailed for suspected fraud.

This followed accusations that they stole Sh1.4 billion ($14 million) from President Salva Kiir’s office.

The release followed bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir, Juma told the media.

"The boys were released on the rule of the law because they received a pardon from the South Sudan president which is within the law," she said. ​"There was no prisoner swap as we followed due process."

Read: Kenyans jailed in South Sudan received by PS Juma at JKIA

Anthony Keya hugs his sister after they were reunited at Lamada hotel in Nairobi following a prison term in South Sudan, December 7, 2017. /PATRICK VIDIJA

Juma, who reunited the four with their families, said they were in good shape as reported after several tests.

"We are happy to receive them here in Kenya. They are fine as per the results of their medical tests," she said.

Juma said people going outside the country must make sure they have the due diligence reports and register with foreign affairs ministry.

"We need to get information that is why we ask for many documents before travelling outside the country."

"I hope this experience will be a lesson to everyone in the country," the PS added.

She further warned those who intend to get jobs outside the country to be wary of conmen out to extort money out of them.

"Kenyans taking jobs abroad should be very careful, especially those travelling to the Middle East."

Ghaghda, who spoke on behalf of three, said they were very happy to return to Kenya and reunite with their families.

"We want to thank the President for re-uniting us with our families and also thank Kenyans for their support and prayers," he said.

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