After spending hours of uncertainty, cold weather, and hunger in Ewuaso, stranded governor Joseph Lenku’s arrived home on Wednesday night.
The 17 residents of Lenkisim, which included a teacher, two elderly women, and two men were abandoned by Lenku’s entourage after a driver that was hired to ferry them to Ewuaso demanded a service charge as promised.
The driver, Simon Nderitu, had negotiated a sum of Sh40,000 for car hire and was told he would be paid the amount on arrival in Ewuaso, where the county government had a ceremony.
After the event, an effort by the 17 to talk to the wife of the governor, Edna Lenku who is alleged to have been in the know of the problem, hit a dead end.
One of the passengers in the hired vehicle, Serah Pateri, said an official of the county government had negotiated the hiring of the NAEKANA Sacco vehicle with the knowledge of the wife of the governor.
Pateri said when Edna was told about the hired vehicle she denied knowledge of the arrangement and left the 17 stranded.
After the story of their plight went viral on social media on Wednesday, the governor’s office sent Sh30,000 to the driver of the hired vehicle at around 4 pm on that day.
But Nderitu insisted that the amount had risen to Sh50,000 because he had not planned to sleep out with the vehicle.
Pateri said Edna had earlier given them Sh10,000 for lunch when they left Lenkisim on Tuesday, and so they gave the amount to the driver, who insisted again that he would not leave without getting the whole amount.
“We had to call more friends from all over and the response was good. The social media activated Kajiado and sympathisers sent us more money that was enough to pay the driver and even remained with something little to take home,” said Pateri.
She went on: “This thing will never happen to us again. Someone played politics to spoil for Lenku but we are saying that we will still vote for him in 2022.”
The 17 slept at the Ewuaso police station on Tuesday night after the driver of the NAEKANA Sacco was advised to report the matter to the authorities.
During the county government occasion in Ewuaso, Lenku told the residents that the promotion of education remains one of his key concerns.
“Many of our residents did not get the privilege to get formal education during their formative years,” he said.
He said, therefore, adult education becomes one of the options that promote literacy among our older generation.
The county was marking this year’s International Literacy Day where some of the county students graduated.
Lenku said currently, the county has close to 3,000 adult education learners in 65 adult education centres, with 60 per cent of them being women.