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Looking for a house to rent? avoid a 'Brigadier Musyoka'

REAL ESTATE
By Graham Kajilwa | May 8th 2017

My name is Brian Ambala and I was unfortunate to come across Brigadier Musyoka when I was looking to rent a house.

In early February, I called a number - 0731232845 - belonging to a Joseph Mutisya. He said he had a rental house in Westlands, near Westgate Mall, which he had advertised online.

When I called the number, the person identified himself as Brigadier Joseph Mbaatha Musyoka and said he was the man in charge of Kahawa Barracks.

He told me he owned properties all over the city, in all the posh areas, and since I was looking for a bedsitter, he said he could help me.

“Lakini hiyo line yako is not that clear. Let me ‘beep’ you with another number that you call me,” he said.

The number was 0714026398.

To divulge more details of the house, the brigadier said he first had to confirm that I was not an agent or a student. He said students were rowdy and not good at following simple rules.

“I listed the house as a bedsitter to keep off agents. I do not like agents, but the house is a one-bedroom,” he said.

Sudanese woman

He then told me he would give me the house even though there was a Sudanese woman who had asked for it.

“I cannot give the house away to a foreigner and leave my fellow Kenyan. Don’t you agree?” he asked me.

He went on to describe the property. A servant’s quarters unit detached from the main house. The main house was supposedly occupied by a white doctor who worked at Nairobi Hospital. I was to be introduced to the doctor at a later date.

“The living room is quite sizeable as is the kitchen. Electricity is pre-paid, water is always available, security is guaranteed and there is space to park a car,” he said.

I was to pay Sh7,000 for the premises, which sounded like a good deal to me. To further sweeten the deal, he asked me to pay a Sh6,000 deposit since I was like “a son” to him.

He then, in an authoritative tone, told me to meet him the following day at Westgate Mall at noon.

What time? “At 1200 hours. Not 12:01 pm or later. You know we are soldiers and we do keep time. Sasawa my son,” he said.

“I will be there some minutes earlier in my white Mercedes S-class, in my full uniform and my driver.”

Convinced, I sent the money.

“You are a good son, Brian. Let us meet tomorrow. Exactly noon.”

Tenancy agreement

The following day, at 9:30am I got a call that he was at his lawyer’s office (mentioned a high-profile lawyer) and he was requesting for another Sh6,000 to process tenancy agreement.

It is then I realised the man may not be what he claimed to be. “Why would a renowned property developer, teaming up with a lawyer of the same calibre, ask for a processing fee of Sh6,000?” I asked myself.

I told him to give me 30 minutes and I would send the money via M-Pesa. I used those minutes to ‘Google’ anything fishy on Brigadier Musyoka and what came up was shocking.

I had been sweetly swindled.

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