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Displaced man to walk 900km to repay loan

By | April 15th 2011

By Nicholas Anyuor

With blame game rife in the Government over the resettlement of IDPs, one man will walk 900km to raise funds to offset a bank loan he got before the poll violence.

Charles William Kivondo, 60, will walk from Kisumu to Mombassa to promote reconciliation and raise money he borrowed.

Kivondo said he borrowed Sh200,000 from the Agricultural Finance Corporation, Kericho Branch, which he used to develop his sugarcane and tea plantations in Muhoroni, Nyanza and some in Kericho, Rift Valley.

But this went to the drain during post-election violence, and now the bank is on his neck.

"I was given the loan in 2007 before the elections, but because I have not repaid it, I got a letter," he said.

The Standard caught up with Charles Kivondo at Rabuor, in the outskirts of Kisumu. He has resorted to walking from Kisumu to Nairobi to raise Sh200,000, he borrowed from a bank before the 2007 election. [PHOTO: JAMES KEYI/STANDARD]

With tears rolling down his cheeks, he reminisced the day his property worth more than Sh50 million was razed down during post-election violence and his family sent away from his Koru home, Muhoroni District, where they had lived for two decades.

"I know people are talking about resettling IDPs. But no one has come to their rescue and my case might not be heard now that politics has taken centre stage," he said.

Farm manager

Before the 2007 elections, Kivondo was a manager in the former Foreign Affairs Minister Robert Ouko’s Koru farm. Ouko died in 1991.

This is where he was living with his family of eight.

He had more than ten acres of sugarcane and tea plantations in Koru and in Kunyak Division in Kericho County, Rift Valley Province.

"But all these were set ablaze because I was not from the right community. I was forced to go back home in Makueni District. Everything in my home, including shoes, was looted," he recalls.

Kivindo had secured the loan in January 2007, giving a title deed of one of his parcels of land.

But before he could service the whole loan, hell broke loose.

"I was left with nothing, but I thank God, they didn’t kill me. I can still walk and solicit funds to pay back the loan," he bitterly says.

After the violence, he returned to Koru in the Operations Rudi Nyumbani programme.

There was nothing at home for him to put his hands on. His children had dropped out of school for lack of school fees.

A notice from the AFC Kericho Branch demands he pays the outstanding loan balance of (Sh182,300) within 14 days from February 9.

"I went and talked to them about the walk, and they are aware. So they have relaxed," he said.

Kivondo has the necessary documents to justify his mission, including a stamped letter from the Kisumu East DC’s office as his first check point and a permit granted by Joseph Wanyonyi for the Muhoroni DC, copied to OCPDs, Kisumu, Nyando, Nairobi and Mombassa.

According to his letter to the Provincial Administration that led to the permit, he will be spending nights at police stations.

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