Stella Nyanzi stranded in Makindu. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Sarah Omondi

A scholar and poet Dr Stella Nyanzi popular with her poem readings has shared her disappointment online after she was defrauded Sh20, 000 by a rogue taxi hire operator.

The woman, who is a scholar of Writers-in-Exile Program at PEN-Zentrum Deutschland, had hired a voxy car for three days from Nairobi to Mombasa (for road tour) from one David who even demanded that she pays all the charges upfront.

Unknown to her, she would be robbed of her Sh19, 600 the total hiring fee for the three days.

She would today morning wake up early together with others who were to accompany her and set off for the journey at 5:30AM only for the vehicle to develop failure while on Mombasa road.

“We pushed the car off the road, got two local mechanics from Makindu who both confirmed that the vehicle’s tracking device had locked the car,” she narrated.

Stranded, she contacted the owner who reportedly refused to return the money paid out and promised to send a replacement car.

“Instead he came to Makindu, ordered us to remove our valuables from his car, disabled the tracker’s lock, sat in the vehicle and sped off as if he was the very devil riding the machine,” she went on.

They allegedly waited for replacement car for several hours at the site only to later learn they had been conned after the man switched off his phone.

The predicament forced her to cancel her poetry readings that had been scheduled for today and tomorrow in Mombasa.

“Someone tell President William Ruto that the hustlers are now ripping off visitors whose only valuables are poems. Why con and hustle Kenyans out of the rare opportunity to listen to my resistance poetry?” Nyanzi posed.

She claimed that the level of thuggery in Kenya is pure, concentrated and maximally calculated to rip off unsuspecting innocents without leaving them in the know.

Some of the netizens sympathised with her, others advised her and asked her to check the other side of the coin while a number made joke out of the incident.

“Leave our President and hustlers out of this now. Every society has good and bad example. All you need is to be extra careful. Go report to police and remember to give something,” Muthoni Kariuki shared.

Sympathising with her, Kalya Pkulel said the tour should not be muddied by the sins of one individual saying “sorry, hope you can share the good side about your tour”.

Felix Kipruto said “19k sio pesa ya kuconniwa”.

“Welcome to Kenya Dr. Here in our land it’s survival for the fittest. Everybody is trying to con another and the cycle goes on,” Ngaira Mandela commented.

Otienoh Owagah said “It is called Kenya school of character development. You have just received your first lesson and whoever comes to help might give you a second lesson…”

“Now you have a poem to write about the con experience. But I also suspect the con had an accomplice within your circle,” Kirui Cheruiyot shared.

Benson Munyambu asked her to report the matter saying Kenya was governed by laws and termed the incident unacceptable.


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