The government has been asked to intervene and help bring back home five Kenyan sailors who have been stranded in Asia for the last two years after their vessel broke down.
The five are said to be crew members of a Zanzibari flagged vessel, MV Queen Binanga, and are stuck in Indonesia after their employer refused to pay them.
The vessel has been moored off the Tanjuk Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, after arriving from Port Labuan in Malaysia.
International Transport Federation (ITF) Mombasa Port Inspector Betty Makena said the sailors had were contracted by a Burundian national, who had bought the vessel from the Philippines.
“Documents in our possession show the Burundian owner had conspired with local seafarers to take charge of steering the vessel from the Philippines to Zanzibar," Ms Makena told The Standard.
"Neither the maritime regulator, the Kenya Maritime Authority, nor the Seafarers Union of Kenya were consulted during the hiring process.”
Makena identified seafarers as Athman Mzee Hamisi, alias Rotation, who is listed as the ship’s captain, Imbuga Aggrey Diede, an electrician, Mapinga Mwalimu, Tela Hamisi Juma, who is a cook, and Yusuf Omar Ragunda, a greaser.
Makena said four others Kenyans were part of crew but left and returned home. They are Joseph Musau, who is an engineer, Noah Otieno Ogada, Michael Milisi Mamkoma and Mubarak Breik Mbarak.
Union chairman Daudi Haji and secretary Stephen Waki has called on the Government to rescue the Kenyans and help them back home.
“We also want the ship owner compelled to pay their salary arrears,” said Mr Haji.
Waki also urged sailors to make a point of informing the union and relevant Government authorities before signing contracts with vessels.
“We want to ensure that we have information on the whereabouts of our seafarers whenever they board a ship to work. They must show us their contracts so that in the event they are mistreated or something happens, we can follow up their cases with relevant parties,” Waki said.