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How I lost Sh200,000 to an ‘acquaintance’ of Magoha

By People Daily
Monday, January 13th, 2020
Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha. Photo/BERNARD MALONZA

MCA Gwinso

An MCA drowning in a sea of unfulfilled promises clutches at any straws. You probably recall that recently, I was accosted by a crowd of parents demanding that I give them bursaries I had promised. 

Well, my troubles are far from over. Parents of children joining Form One were also on my neck last week.

So when help arrived at my doorstep, I did not think twice before grabbing it. The help came in the form of a stranger who strode into my office. 

“You MCAs meet many people, so you tend to forget faces,” said the man who introduced himself as Jomba.

“I know the trouble this bursary thing is giving you. But let me tell you, to get these funds, you must see Prof George Magoha himself,” he said.

“How do I reach him?” I asked.

“Through his driver.”

“Do you know the driver?”

“He is my brother. We have assisted many MCAs get bursaries for their people. Even in this county, some of your colleagues have benefitted, only that we try to keep it a secret.”

The more Jomba talked, the more I became convinced that my bursary problems were over.

“So where do we start?” I asked.

“Let me first ask my brother.” He then proceeded to make a call. “Hello…yes Bro…..can we see mkubwa tomorrow….yes…..a friend here….OK….book an appointment….kesho.”

With that brief conversation, a date with the Cabinet Secretary of Education himself had been fixed. Jomba suggested that since we needed to be at Jogoo House at 5am, we better spend the night in Nairobi. 

Later that evening we were on our way to Nairobi. I asked Jomba how much he expected me to pay him for his troubles.

“No, no, no! Do not even think about it. We don’t charge anything for serving our children. This is our responsibility,” said Jomba.

“However, you may need a little something for the professor. You are a leader and you know it is against African customs to visit a leader empty-handed.”

“Like how much?”

“Well, I can’t really say how much, but around a hundred thousand would not be bad for a CS. You just tell him it is your contribution to a scholarship fund of his choice.”

That sounded reasonable and luckily, I had about two hundred thousand bob in my briefcase I had carried for such an eventuality.

We arrived in the city and checked into into a hotel. We agreed to use a cab the following day since I’m not conversant with city roads.

By 4am the following morning, we were ready to leave. “Mheshimiwa, my bro advises that since it is still early, we can catch the CS at his residence.

“Will we be allowed in?”

“No problem. That has already been taken care of.”

Soon the cab arrived.

“Mpaka wapi?” inquired the driver.

“Kariobangi,” Jomba responded.

“Kariobangi?” I asked, bewildered.

“Yes. That is where the professor spends his nights. You know these big people don’t want to be predictable. Our professor also wants to mix with mwananchi to hear views on education matters on the ground.”

As we drove out of town, Jomba sought to know whether I had the cash with me. I told him I had taken care of that.

It was still dark outside when we stopped outside a flat. Jomba asked us to wait as he went to see whether the minister had awoken. Hardly had he been away for two minutes when  around five men surrounded the vehicle.

Wapi hizo pesa?” demanded a gruff voice.

“Pesa gani?” I asked.

“Don’t waste our time,” growled another voice.

“Just give them the money,” said the driver, meekly.

I gave them the briefcase with all the money. Satisfied, they disappeared into the darkness.

“Let’s go away,” said the driver.

“What about Jomba?”

The driver let out a chuckle. “Jomba? Don’t you see umechezwa?”

It then hit me that I had fallen prey to a conman. “Let’s go straight to the police station. These thugs must be arrested.” I was seething with rage.

As we drove, I cursed myself for falling so easily for the trick. I then pictured myself at the report desk of the police station explaining that I had gone to look for George Magoha at Kariobangi at dawn.

That did not look wise, so I told the driver to change direction and take me back to the hotel room.

I’m  determined not to speak a word to anybody about my city ordeal. As for that Jomba fellow, let him know malipo ni hapa hapa. [email protected]

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