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The fall of powerful mayor who now lives on handouts

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Former powerful Nakuru Mayor and freedom fighter Kimunya Kamana lives in squalor despite decades of making major contributions in government and politics. His humble abode in Kaloleni C Estate, Nakuru, which is a one-bedroom house was not enough to accommodate his family and he constructed an extension using timber to create a bedroom for the children.

“The two small rooms took up most of the space. I don’t own a car, but I am looking forward to see if the proposal to have former councillors paid will materialise and maybe improve my life,” he says.

The life of the 92-year-old sharply contrasts with that of his peers in politics. “The people I joined politics with are millionaires today. Here I am at times having no food for my wife and three young children. I am not the rich man people would expect me to be based on my past,” he says.

To make ends meet, he recently sold his house in the posh Section 58 Estate. “I had debts. Every time I heard a vehicle stop at my gate I thought auctioneers were coming for me. To live in peace, I sold the home and paid the debts. The house I am living in now belongs to the county government for which I pay Sh2,400 rent monthly,” says Kamana.

Forgot to lock

The former mayor says he served with integrity and never grabbed land or property unlike most of his peers who now lead a comfortable life from ill-gotten wealth.

“I was a fighter in the Mau Mau war. We had taken an oath that none of us would ever oppress the other, especially on land ownership. The oath applied among us and any other person around us,” he says.

“Because of this oath, when I became powerful in the post-independence government I never thought of grabbing public land as my peers who are super rich today did. I was contented with what I earned and was interested in good leadership,” adds Kamana. During his youthful years, the former mayor worked for the municipal council as a rent collector earning a monthly salary of Sh163, an amount that placed him among the middle class Kenyans.

In the late 1960s, my boss who was a white man forgot to lock the safe. I opened and found Sh500,000. I locked and kept the key for a month until my employer came back,” he says. His boss was shocked at his honesty. “He couldn’t understand why I didn’t take the money yet it was an amount that would transform my life. I told him that we had fought for independence to be liberated, not to be thieves,” says Kamana.

He would that month receive a salary increment to earn Sh250 and later a promotion. “I received my pay in an envelope and noticed the extra cash. I returned it to him thinking it was a mistake. Instead, he told me it was a reward for my integrity. He then promoted me to the position of Municipal Housing and Asset Officer,” he recalls.

During founding President Jomo Kenyatta’s era, he helped freedom fighters to register a land buying company, Nakuru District Ex-Freedom Fighters Organisation (NDEFFO) through which they purchased five parcels of land.

“The land was in Molo, Njoro and Bahati. I took an ordinary share of 1.6 acres in Engashura. Many expected that I would use my power to enrich myself with land, but I didn’t. Each member got a fair share,” he explains. He was powerful and would determine where one would own land or a house in the municipality, especially in the town where a plot today is worth millions of shillings.

“When Daniel Moi was appointed the vice president, I gifted him a house in the Moi Flats Estate. I never abused my office to benefit myself. There were many opportunities to amass wealth, but I never thought of it,” says Kamana. In the 1980s, he joined politics and became a force to reckon with in the region, rubbing many the wrong way, including the then President Moi. “I was detained and tortured. When I was freed I vied to be a councillor for Ward 2, currently Biashara Ward, which hosts Nakuru’s business centre and headquarters,” he recalls. Unable to service Having garnered the highest number of votes during the 1992 elections, all councillors unanimously agreed to have him serve as the Nakuru Mayor, a position he held until 1997.

“As a mayor I used to earn Sh6,000 per month. I was philanthropic and people would run to me to pay school fees for their children. Other civic leaders were in a rush to grab whatever idle land they came across,” he said.

The former politician has fallen on hard times and admits that he has been seeking financial support from individuals and government in vain. “I was bitten by a poisonous spider, which caused me to develop disability in 2014. I got registered for the cash transfer for the disabled and later for the elderly. However, I don’t receive any stipend,” says Kamana.

He laments that his friends have since deserted him. “I spent a lot of money on my medical bills. Very few people supported me. I had to take loans, which I was later unable to service,” he says. Kamana is among those who lined up for food rations from the county government to ease effects of Covid-19. “I was not strong enough to battle for the food. I was among the elderly left on the queue empty handed with no food remaining to offer us,” he says.

By Standard.co.ke

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The road less travelled

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According to a June 2020 study by Flone Initiative, women make up 10 per cent of the work force in the public transport industry in the country, 85 per cent of them being matatu conductors in Nairobi; it is no longer a male-dominated job. However,

“I used to ride the so-called nganyas to school every day, and being that I am a social and open-minded person, I would interact with the accomodating personnel and with time, I deeply fell in love with the unique culture that is the Kenyan matatu industry,” she tells PD Wikendi. A daughter of Italian parents who met and got married in Kenya, Lucia is thankful to have been born and bred in this country with an atypical public transport sector, which would become her biggest passion.

After completing high school, she joined Montessori College in Nairobi to pursue teaching, a course she did not complete, as what she desired was to work as a tout. However, she would again proceed to pursue a certificate in pharmacy, which is her mother’s profession. In 2015, Lucia ditched her pharmacy career and decided to follow her heart, becoming a full-time makanga in Kitengela, a route she says she felt comfortable in, being that she was serving people she grew up around.

Lucia recalls how at first, residents of Kitengela, seeing a mzungu on the matatu door calling on passengers to board, were certain it was a prank. “In my first days, people were dumbfounded, wondering if it was a stunt. They even became reluctant to board the vehicle, as they thought that maybe there was a hidden camera somewhere recording the ‘prank’. No one believed a mlami could take this job, but, eventually, they realised it was for real and got used to it,” she recounts.

The venture was fraught with challenges for her; not only was she a woman in a rough man’s world, but also a ‘foreigner’. “Some commuters felt they could get aggressive towards me, for example when disgruntled by what they found to be high fares. Dealing with a rude passenger who does not want to cooperate and respect my hustle is still among my worst moments while in the line of duty. Some passengers like to show that they are allknowing. Again, there were instances where people thought I don’t understand Swahili or sheng, which I speak fluently, so they would throw jabs at me, but I never let it get to me. If you are a strong woman who respects herself and you understand that this is a job like any other, there is no situation that would be too difficult to manoeuvre. Women are many in the industry these days, and people now take it as a normal thing,” adds Lucia, who currently works in Crisis of Wamasaa Sacco.

PANDEMIC STRUGGLE
At the moment, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has really hamstrung their work, is

it is still unusual to meet a woman nganya crewmember. It is even rarer to meet one from a different race. But, the well known Lucia Alessandra Murotto, a Caucasian woman conductor, never saw these as barriers to stop her from following her passion. Walking along Nairobi’s Railways bus terminus, where Kitengela matatus are stationed, you will likely meet the 29-year-old shouting herself hoarse calling for passengers, a job she has now served in for over five years.

Growing up in Kitengela, Kajiado county, Lucia, famously known as Mlami by the area residents owing to her Italian origin, never prayed for something bigger in her future than serving in the matatu industry. Her desire to join the sector grew while she was still in high school, when the single mother of one used to commute daily to school, boarding the renowned decorated matatus of the vibrant route 110 Kitee, and got to interact with the friendly crews.

FALLING IN LOVE

the biggest issue that, like others in the sector, she’s dealing with on the job. “We are only carrying 60 per cent of the bus capacity, so, hitting the profit target becomes an uphill task. To cope, investors have sadly been forced to send some crewmembers home, and we’ve also had to raise fares so as to at least remain afloat,” she explains.

Challenges aside, what Lucia loves the most about her job is how the crews she works with are humble and understanding. “We live like one big family, sticking by each other through thick and thin. We are always there for one another, be it during funerals, weddings, when one of our colleagues gets a child, even birthdays, we come together and offer support,” she beams.

When not filling matatus with passengers and collecting fares, the last-born in a family of two daughters helps her mum out at her pharmacy in Kisaju. Meanwhile, the nganya culture enthusiasm has rubbed of on her nine-year-old son, who she says knows almost all the Kitengela hot mats by name.

For now, it appears Lucia is in it for the long haul. “I have been dreaming of investing in the matatu industry since I was 16. I would love to take my matatu to Kitengela, Rongai or even Eastleigh, since I have worked on the three routes and I know their ins and outs, ” she concludes.

By PD.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Abel Mutua says he lost his first millions by overpaying actors

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Former Tahidi High actor Abel Mutua has revealed that he did not really enjoy his first ever millions.

The actor who is currently a co-director at Phyl-it Productions said he made a lot of money together with his friend in a single deal that saw them enjoy the millionaires status, albeit for a while.

Speaking on the new episode of Stories of My Life on his YouTube channel, Abel said while they were able to secure a production deal that made them millions, they blew the same on paying actors and production crews hefty salaries.

According to the actor, their lives changed when they were commissioned to produce the show Sue Na Jonnie and Hulabaloo Estate for DSTV’s Maisha Magic East.

Abel revealed that DSTV sent them 40 percent of the total production cost for a number of episodes, something that blew their minds and made them believe they had kissed poverty goodbye.

The actor said the offer was so sweet because they were supposed to produce over 100 episodes with each going for about KSh 400,000.

”We were commissioned to produce Sue Na Jonnie and Hulabaloo Estate. That meant we were to produce over 100 episodes, which they paid over KSh 400,000 per episode. The amount as crazy, we knew that is it, we had become millionaires. We went home excited, talked to our wives and told them to prepare for an opulence lifestyle.” Abel said.

TUKO.co.ke understands Abel and his friend Phil’s company made over KSh 40 million for the same.

This, he said gave them the opportunity to try and change the film industry in the country by doing things a bit differently, including paying actors reasonable dues.

Well, that was the beginning of their end because they ended up overpaying actors and crew who had asked for less money.

Abel added him and his two friends heading the production company decided not to pay themselves salaries but instead pay everyone and will finally pay themselves upon the completion of the two projects.

Thing went smoothly until when it hit them production of the two shows involved the use of high technology equipment which also chewed into their budget.

The actor attributes the ”squandering” of their millions to high paychecks to actors and production, which even left them with a KSh 5 million debt.

”We knew we would work, pay everyone and when it is all done, then we would pay ourselves and everyone would walk home with not less than KSh 5 million each. Things went south, we had paid people lots of money, not finished production and with a debt of KSh 5 million. We suffered a major loss with the projects and we did not really make much money as we expected. We had to look for help from friends and family who would loan us to complete the productions.” Mutua disclosed.

The actor wrapped up by advising Kenyans to support film makers because most of them suffer losses like they did.

By Tuko.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Ruth Matete says she’s done with religion, laments religious people abandoned her

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Tusker Project Fame winner Ruth Matete is definitely tired of hypocrites and fake people who hide behind religion while persecuting others.

The musician on Saturday, September 19, had enough of it and decided to bash the aforementioned group of people as she was done with religion.

Ruth Matete denounces Christianity, says religious people abandoned her

Ruth Matete said she is so done with hypocrites. Photo: UGC
Source: Instagram

In a long Facebook post seen by TUKO.co.ke, Ruth who until now as a pastor defended her latest move by saying that God is not a Christian, nor is he religious.

”Am so done with fake people!! Done with religion!! Thank God, that God is not a Christian. He is not religious. Oh! If it had not been for the Lord, who was always on my side. The enemy would have swallowed me. I would have drowned in the waters. But my soul has found an escape. I have escaped like a bird from the snare of the Fowler. How is the volume? Are the subwoofers working well?, Ruth wrote.

Ruth told off people who accused her of all manners of evils and took her through hell when she was deep into many scandals, including her latest one involving the death of her beloved hubby.

According to the singer, everyone deserted her including pastors, friends and even some family members when things got thicker on her side.

The lass said she was hurt by the accusations especially from people who did not have proof of what they were saying about her.

”Can we talk? I know this will land me in trouble with the Religious people but hey! So now, some of you have some weird audacity. You have never liked me from the word go and that’s alright. When I was going through hell and high waters and scandal was my name, you turned and kept your distance. You only want to associate with me when am the star and being celebrated. But when the rubber meets the road, hamnijui. Wah! One thing that hurt me the most was that time is when pastors I have ministered in their churches left me. Like no call. In fact some of them came up with prophecies during their live broadcasts saying that God showed them I’ll go to jail and that I was guilty. Chaiii!!! ,” she exclaimed.

Ruth wondered why the same people who ditched her were now coming back to her ”begging” to be friends again.

”Then now, God has vindicated me. I have had to pick my own broken pieces and try to move on, you’re back! Wow!! Calling me. Texting me. Telling me you were praying for me. Mercy Lord!! Was it so hard for you to just call or text and tell me that? You avoided me like a plague. You didn’t want people to know that I serve in your church or I have ever served in your church. Indeed the heart of man is wicked. Some talked and talked and I have proof. But now you’re my number one fan since I came back on social media. You comment on all my posts. Like everything I post. ‘Yes Pastor!’ ‘We love you’. Hehehehehe.” Ruth wrote.

She wrapped up by urging everyone who ran away during the times of her struggles to just keep off and let her be the ”evil woman” she was.

This comes just months after she was acquitted of being party to her hubby’s death.

Before that, quite a number of people trolled her and accused her of being an evil woman who possibly caused her hubby’s death.

By Tuko.co.ke

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