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Friends donate Sh400 fare for stranded man who returned 100k

Stephen Waiganjo speaks during an interview with 'The Standard' in Nakuru, February 17, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Friends came to the rescue of a good Samaritan who was stranded in Nakuru after spending the day in a bank reversing a transaction that would have left him Sh100,000 richer.

Stephen Waiganjo had travelled from Eldama Ravine to Nakuru and proceeded to a local bank where he reversed a bank transaction worth Sh100,000. The cash had been erroneously sent to his MPesa account on January 27.

Shocked, he at first thought the transaction was fake and a popular con scheme where fraudsters send SMS messages that show money has been sent on M-Pesa. To confirm the transaction, he withdrew Sh25,000 via M-Pesa.

“I told my wife I had received money from a financial institution but she could not believe it was true. I withdrew some of it to confirm and kept the cash in wait for the owner to seek a refund,” Waiganjo told The Standard.

Sh100,000 was erroneously sent to Stephen Waiganjo on January 27, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Call from the bank

A few days later, Waiganjo received a call from a bank official based in the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi. The official told him the transaction had been erroneously initiated and the bank had initiated a refund process. Waiganjo was not told who sent the money to his account.

Waiganjo was asked to give his consent and provide a signature, confirming the refund.

Suspicious, Waiganjo, a father of four demanded to sign the consent at Eldama Ravine Police Station. However, the bank official refused.

When another meeting fell through on February 13, Waiganjo decided to go to the bank’s branch in Nakuru to finalise the reversal where he had to queue for hours at the banking hall.

“I (sic) like you to release the money in my M-Shwari and put it to my M-Pesa so that the money can be sent back where it came,” read a note signed by Waiganjo and addressed to the bank’s Branch Manager in Nakuru. Waiganjo then called the bank official and confirmed that he had released the funds to the bank.

Stephen Waiganjo. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Later on Thursday evening, Waiganjo was stranded in Nakuru without fare to travel back to Eldama Ravine. He did not have Sh400 to travel back to Eldama Ravine.  

Waiganjo is a sub-county health worker based in Eldama Ravine.  

MPesa is a commonly used money transaction service in Kenya. One can reverse a transaction via SMS to 456, on the MySafaricom APP, and by chatting with Zuri.