In a significant turn of events, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted a reprieve in the case of Stephen Munyakho, known as Abdulkareem after his conversion.

Munyakho, who faced an imminent execution scheduled for May 15, 2024, received this postponement to facilitate further negotiations among concerned parties.

Expressing gratitude for this development, Foreign Affairs PS Korir Sing'oei highlighted the importance of continued dialogue and collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

"I am deeply grateful to inform that authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have kindly granted our request to postpone the impending execution of Stephen Munyakho (now known as Abdulkareem), to allow for further negotiations between all parties," Sing'oei stated.

Sing'oei emphasized the necessity of finding a mutually acceptable resolution to provide closure to both families involved.

"As we devise strategies to bring this matter to a more acceptable conclusion, and thereby giving both families the closure they so urgently need and deserve, we shall continue to lean on the warm and solid friendship that we have with our Saudi partners, as well as on the goodwill of all Kenyans," the PS said.

Munyakho's ordeal stems from a tragic altercation with his colleague Abdul Halim Mujahid Makrad Saleh, resulting in Saleh's death.

Initially convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison, Munyakho faced a devastating turn when an appeal led to a death sentence under Shariah law.

Under Islamic law, the option of "diya" or blood money presents a path to commutation of the death penalty.

Negotiations saw the initially proposed 10 million Saudi Arabia Riyals reduced to 3.5 million SAR, equivalent to approximately Sh150 million, to secure Munyakho's release.

Efforts to raise the necessary funds have been underway, with Munyakho's family appealing to both the Kenyan public and President William Ruto for support.

A committee dedicated to the cause, 'Bring Back Stevo,' urged President Ruto to intervene or extend the deadline, allowing more time for fundraising.

As the case unfolds, stakeholders in Nairobi and Riyadh, including religious representatives, will convene to determine the next steps in this delicate negotiation process.

Munyakho's story serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities inherent in the intersection of justice, cultural norms, and human compassion.

With hope and determination, Kenya strives for a resolution that upholds the value of life and delivers justice tempered with mercy.

The collaborative efforts of all parties involved remain crucial in ensuring a just and satisfactory resolution for Munyakho and the affected families.

Throughout this challenging ordeal, the tireless dedication of both the Ministry Headquarters and the Kenyan Mission in Riyadh has been acknowledged, underscoring the importance of continued support and cooperation in navigating this complex situation.