After presenting the four to the family and media, she said the government would protect all Kenyans in distress while aboard.

ANGUISH

The PS stated: “The government will remain committed to protect all Kenyans wherever they are. However continue to get deeply concerned with cases where Kenyans travel to take up jobs without bothering to take due diligence or referring to the government to confirm the nature of companies or credibility of companies offering those opportunities.”

She went on: “To the families and friends it has been a long period of uncertainty and anguish. As a government we too have been deeply concerned and have continuously engaged with South Sudan at various levels to have the issue resolved.”

Dr Juma said the freed convicts were given a clean bill of health after undergoing medical tests.

She added that no conditions were given for their release, saying the rule of law was upheld before the presidential pardon.

“There are bad companies all over including Kenya that are involved in recruitment. These four are lucky because in other cases, people return home with injuries or in body bags,” the PS noted

The four were locked up On May 29, 2015 and charged alongside 12 South Sudan nationals who were also cumulatively jailed for 67 years.

Before they were freed, they had complained that they were not given a fair hearing.

VICTIMS

They further argued the sentences were harsh and that they were proxy victims of business wars between rivals, one of whom was their employer, for lucrative government tenders.

One of the South Sudanese sentenced include businessman John Agou, who was a senior security officer in President Kiir’s office, and his wife Anyeth Chat Bol.

The two founded the business Click Technologies which supplied electronic items to the Juba government and employed the four Kenyans.

Mr Agou, the court found, conspired with his employees to swindle the Office of the President and other ministries, by receiving payments for deliveries that never were.

On Wednesday, a Kenya Airways plane carrying the four together with the ministry’s delegation landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 5.30pm.

But after landing, they were quietly driven out of the airport in a convoy of government vehicles.

The four underwent debriefing by government officials before being allowed to unite with their families.

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