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Evening bomb blast that removed sheen from hard-working shoe shiner's face

By Boniface Gikandi | Published Tue, August 19th 2014 at 00:00, Updated August 18th 2014 at 23:58 GMT +3

Evening bomb blast that removed sheen from hard-working shoe shiner's face

Joseph Maina Nduati is accusing the Government of neglecting him after he fell victim to a grenade attack in Eastleigh in March this year.

Since then, the former hard-working father of three has been subjected to living within his home compound and depending on his wife for food and other necessities.

On the fateful day, Nduati closed his shoe shine business and with his friend Dennis Gakure entered a nearby hotel. But not long after, hell broke loose.

“A grenade exploded inside the hotel and people scampered for safety in all directions,” recalls Nduati.

His friend was killed on the spot.

Both Nduati and Gakure came from Gitindiri in Nji Ithatu in Kangema constituency, Murang’a County.They were both shoe shiners in Eastleigh.

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Gakure was invited to Nairobi by Nduati after showing great interest in shoe shining business.

Remembering his days in the city with nostalgia, Nduati reveals that on a daily basis he made a profit of Sh1,000.

“I am a bitter man as I have to depend on my wife to feed the family after the Government abandoned me,” said the 35-year-old man.

Despite bitterness, Maina who now walks on crutches, thanks God for saving him from death.

He watched people that he knew being pulled from the debris and being rushed to ambulances.

“All the victims were helped into ambulances that took them to Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment,” said the father of three as he showed scars that were inflicted on his left leg by sharp objects.

Speaking in his Gitindiri village home, he recounted how he was discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital on the fourth day still suffering from severe pain in his left leg.

He divulged that upon discharge authorities at Kenyatta National Hospital declined to hand in his discharge note that could facilitate attending clinics.

“On several occasions, I have sought treatment at Murang’a District Hospital where medics prescribed drugs worth Sh700 which did not stop the pain,” he said.

He recounted how, at one time, he was taken by relatives to Kenyatta National Hospital where doctors prescribed him drugs worth Sh40 after they insisted that there was nothing wrong with his left leg.

“I am now thinking of seeking treatment at Maragua District Hospital as the last option as I cannot afford to seek specialised treatment in major hospitals,” said Maina who depends on his wife and brother.

He said he attended the burial of Gakere across the ridge terming him as the friend who had shown interest to get married and have a family.

Nduati’s spouse Mary Wanjiku has been forced to provide for the family since her husband retreated to the village after the incident.

“I am the sole breadwinner as my mother-in-law is old and unable to provide,” said Wanjiku.

To feed her family, she has been forced to do manual jobs in the neighbourhood.

Nduati moved to Nairobi in 1997 and started shoe shine business. He earned enough from the business and even managed to build his family a permanent house.


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