A dispute over rent at Shaban estate in Nakuru turned ugly after a landlord welded his tenants’ door, trapping one occupant inside. Amon Onzare was alone in the house when the landlord struck. His mother, Sibia Ogembo, had gone to hawk vegetables.
Narrating the ordeal to The Standard through the window, Onzare said the landlord welded the doors of the house on Thursday last week after his mother delayed to pay Sh10,000 rent. The landlord had asked Onzare to leave the house but when it started raining, he went back in to shelter. While it was raining, the landlord brought a welding machine from a nearby garage and sealed the door.
“I peeped through the window and told the landlord to allow me to leave, but he said that was to teach me and my mother a lesson to respect other people’s property,” claimed Onzare. He called his mother who pleaded for more time to clear the rent but the landlord would hear none of it.
“The landlord said all he wanted was to have the rent cleared. I pleaded with him to allow my son to leave the house, but he refused to listen. He said the house was his property and that I did not help him to construct it,” said Ogembo.
The woman said she planned to utilise her rent deposit and move out at the end of August to a more affordable house. “I have never failed to pay rent,” she said. Before Covid-19, Ogembo worked at a hardware shop, but it was closed due to poor business.
The issue was reported to Kaptembwo Police Station, but officers said it was a civil matter that should be resolved by the tenant, landlord and local administration. When The Standard contacted the landlord, Joseph Ondaro, he admitted he welded the door, but claimed he was not aware there was someone inside.
“Why was the tenant quiet when the house was being locked? I cannot come to solve the matter now because I am far,” he said. It took the intervention of Nakuru Town West Deputy Commissioner Elmi Shaffi to rescue the woman and her son.