By PETER KOMBE
It was all joy as parents, guardians and well-wishers waited for over 4 hours at Moi International airport to welcome their children who had been stranded in Sudan.
The 129 Students who were learning at the international university of Africa jetted into the country on Saturday after 8 pm.
They are part of the 191 students studying in Sudan.
Kenya airways charged the students USD 490 about sh51, 900 per person.
Baishe Idris Muhammad, president of Kenya students studying in the said country said life has been tough after the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The petroleum and Minerals 4th year student asked local leaders to assist the remaining students come back home.
“After the corona broke out our parents have not been able to facilitate us compared to the time before the pandemic. We have been going through thick and thin,” lamented Muhammad.
He thanked all the leaders and well-wishers for heeding the students call and joining hands in bringing back home.
Mombasa politicians; Governor Ali Hassan Joho, Mvita lawmaker Abdulswammad Sharrif Nassir and Lamu East MP Ali Sharif facilitated the return of the university students.
Joho paid a full fare of 25 students, Abdulswamad catered for 19, while Sharif for 20.
Mombasa business man Suleiman Shahbal also facilitated the return of the students by paying half the fare for 37 students.
The students hail from various counties throughout the country; including Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Garrisa Mandera Lamu Isiolo and Nairobi.
Meanwhile, Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) Chair Khelef Khalifa who coordinated the return of the students slammed North Eastern legislators on claims going silent about the matter.
Khalifa said his efforts to contact the MPs had hit a snag He, however, thanked local politicians who stood in unity to bring back the students.
“There are some Kenyans still stranded abroad. I blame some of the politicians from North Eastern,” the chair said.
He was addressing the media immediately after the students jetted back home.
At the same, behind the whole drama is Zena Rubeya, the mobilizer of the journey.
Rubeya who says is “a nobody” in society expressed her contentment after seeing the plane landing at the Moi International airport.
She said she had been at the airport from 12 noon Saturday.
“I cannot believe it. A lady called Suhaila is the one who sent me the videos. I feel relieved after seeing these students back,”
She said she formed a whatsaap Group and shared the videos after adding almost all politicians in Mombasa county.
“I am just a good Samaritan with no interest in politics. I was only touched by the videos of the students in Sudan and decided to send it to our leaders,” she noted.
She however notes that not all local leaders have replied her texts even after sending them the videos of the protesting students in Sudan.
On the other hand, Dr. Khadija Shikely Chief officer of health Mombasa County said all the students will be tested for the corona virus from Sunday starting 7am.
She said the students will be taken to the Kenya school of government in Mombasa.
The students however were not allowed to shake hands with their parents and guardians but only waved them off before boarding a bus for quarantine facility.
She says the county government is fully prepared to combat the spread of COVID19 pandemic.
Abdulswammad urged all Kenyans stranded abroad to contact their embassies for any assistance.
The lawmaker says he has been in close contact with the Sudanese government on the return journey of the students.
“84 students are from Mombasa while the others are from Kilifi. Kwale and Lamu counties. If we say that the government has facilitated their return it will be a tall order,” Observed the MP who was also at the airport to welcome back the pupils.
Mombasa county governor Joho sent a delegation at the airport on his behalf.