At least 273 Kenyans are serving jail terms in other countries, according to the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma with Tanzania leading with 79.
In a document presented to Defence and Foreign Relations parliamentary committee, the CS said that the country cannot afford legal assistance for those imprisoned and urged Kenyans living abroad to register with the embassies to enable the government provide consular services.
“We do not have provisions for legal assistance because engaging international lawyers can be pretty expensive. What we are doing is to urge Kenyans to respect the laws of other countries,” Dr Juma said.
Mkarimu media learnt that the number may be high as the CS said the list was not exhaustive and promised to provide an updated list within 14 days.
Dr.Juma pointed out that the missions abroad have been directed to engage Kenyans regularly to help them avoid running into trouble with the law.
According to the document, Tanzania is leading with 79 prisoners from Kenya, China has 57 prisoners, Uganda 47, Malaysia 25, South Sudan 10, Qatar eight, Thailand 7, Seychelles 6, Ethiopia and Indonesia five each, Philippines, Kuwait, Botswana and Pakistan have three each while Togo, Oman and South Africa have two each.
Rwanda, Japan, Austria, Brazil, Nepal and South Korea have a Kenyan each in their prisons.
However, Dr Juma said that data protection laws in the United Kingdom and Switzerland prevent them from sharing information on Kenya nationals in their penal detention or those with pending legal proceedings as well as the crimes they are facing.