President Uhuru Kenyatta has been on the frontline calling for an eviction moratorium while urging landlords to be tolerant with their tenants as the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak continue to bite.
But that did not stop some landlords from kicking out their tenants as was the case of Elizabeth Akinyi, a mother of seven children who live in Nairobi’s Kayole estate.
Akinyi and her children had been spending nights in the cold since Saturday, April 4, after the landlady at their former residence kicked them out over one and half months rent arrears.
Narrating the ordeal to Lynn Ngugi, the mother of seven said the landlady came to her house at the time it was only occupied by the children and threw them out without waiting for her return.
“I was not there when she threw my items out. She woke my children up and forced them out. My items have been damaged, some mattresses are missing,” the mother narrated.
According to her, she had made an agreement with the landlady to repay the rent, even offering a gas cylinder and a cupboard as collateral, which were not returned when she was thrown out.
Akinyi alleged she had pledged to pay the KSh 6,000 (N20,778.68) arrears or vacate if she was unable to raise the amount.
The mother of seven who spent two nights in custody with her seven-months-old baby after the landlady called the police on her stated the area police officers and the chief had been of no help.
For the days she was out in the cold, the landlady visited the area on a daily basis, in the company of young men and police officers, each time throwing Akinyi’s items further and further away.
But just like every cloud has a silver lining, the distraught woman’s story had a happy ending too.
Well-wishers from across the county who heard of Akinyi’s predicaments came together to help her start a new life all over again.
From buying food supplies to paying her rent and providing health cover, they made sure that the mother of seven and her children were fully catered for to cushion them through the coronavirus pandemic.
They first started by locating a new house close to her business which according to Akinyi, had collapsed in January 2020 leading to her delay in remitting her rent.
The good Samaritans then helped her to settle in the new one-bedroom house while handing over the supplies, bought by different people, to her.