COVID-19: Trans Nzoia County Woman pays rent for constituents
By David Musundi
Trans Nzoia County Woman MP Janet Nangabo on Thursday gave some of her constituents, whose roofs had been pulled off by several landlords for failure to pay house rents, a pleasant surprise when she stepped in to offset their April and May rent to cushion them against the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The MP said she made the decision to assist families in the slums of Mitume, Kipsongok, Tuwani and Matisi after learning from the media that their roofs had been pulled off following delay in clearing house rents.
Speaking to the People Daily in Kitale, the MP said landlords should not be insensitive to the problems caused by the coronavirus that had rendered many people jobless with nothing to eat, leave alone raising an extra cent for rent.
This came in the wake of landlords stacking notices of eviction to the doors of the tenants for failing to clear rent arrears with some shocked tenants accusing the landlords for being unmindful of the challenges associated with coronavirus.
Narrating their ordeal, the tenants who had been paying between Sh2,000 to Sh4,500 per month for each unit said it was not their fault to fail to clear their rent due to layoffs from their places of work and asked the government to reign in on some landlords who were so brutal.
The elated tenants upon receiving money to pay for their rents said the gesture by the MP came as a relief and a great surprise especially when families were grappling with biting poverty and hunger without knowing where the next meal would come from.
‘’ This is a great God send present from our County MP Mama Nangabo to us who have been occupying rental premises which are required to be paid for. Some of us are suffering because we lost our jobs and we are facing hard times financially’’, said Ruth Nekesa, a mother of four.
Nekesa said the action of the MP had eased their financial burden during this time when low earning cadres had undergone painful conditions occasioned by pay cuts.
A 69 year old and blind musician Peter Wanundu whose roof was also removed by his landlord in Kiminini Township said there was urgent need for the government to put more stringent rules to cushion tenants from exploitation.
Wanundu who is completely blind said he was surprised to hear sounds of the roof of his house being pulled off from the house he has stayed for over a year, saying the landlord’s move made him feel dejected and uncared for.
Kiminini residents at nearby plots could not hide their anger directed at the blind musician on learning about whatever had transpired and wished the government could reprimand the landlord concerned for the cruelty meted on the blind man and his family.