– Elizabeth Akinyi and her children had been spending nights in the cold since her landlady kicked them out
– This was despite their prior agreement with the landlady that she would pay the rent
– Akinyi even offered a gas cylinder and a cupboard as collateral which were not returned when she was thrown out.
– The mother of seven spent two nights in custody with her seven-months-old baby after the landlady called the police on her
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.
Among the well wishers who joined the TUKO team in changing Akinyi’s life was Christine Karimi who made headlines when she decided to suspended rent for her 65 tenants in Kangemi.
While offering to pay Akinyi’s new rent for three months, she castigated the landlady for being inconsiderate of the tough times Kenyans were facing over the COVID-19 outbreak.
“No matter how cold-hearted you are, you should not do such a thing to someone at such a time. Landlords should be tolerant of their tenants,” she said.
The Member of County Assembly (MCA) for Matopeni-Spring Valley, Abdi Guyo, also chipped in by directing KSh 20, 000 to Akinyi’s food kitty and committing to pay her rent for three months.
Elected leader for youth and Gender, Juliana Olayo, who was also present said they would ensure the woman and her children got National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and paid for six months upfront.
She also noted they would cover her rent for four months bringing to a total of 10 months Akinyi’s rent was taken care of.
Also represented during the life-changing experience was Buzeki Foundation who learned of her story on Twitter and decided to give her dry food ration for five months and a token to start a new business.
Other well-wishers who had learned of the mother’s misfortunes on the internet also gave their contributions while calling out on others to help each other where they can.
Akinyi only wish was that her former landlady would have a change of heart and never treat another tenant the same way she did to her.