A woman 38, is reeling from the economic effects of COVID-19 scourge in the country which has seen her being kicked out of her bedsitter house in Umoja over Sh5000 house rent arrears.
Ann Mureithi, a single mother of one, a daughter aged ten years used to live in abed sitter at Umoja 3 Estate near Kwa Maji stage but now spends the nights at the apartment corridors opposite Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital with her daughter after failing to raise the Sh5000 rent for April.
Ann's predicament began last month (on March 2020) when the company in which she was working in at Industrial area declared some workers redundant over the effects of coronavirus. Most of the workers affected were those on a casual basis.
After being dismissed from her place of work with only the month's salary, she then embarked on mitumba hawking business whereby she could collect the stock from Gikomba or Easley markets and hawk them to buyers at random. She could not pay her April rent as she had used the money as capital for her new business. She had also projected the business to begin making positive earnings within a short while and be in a position of paying for her house rent arrears.
"Although I could not afford to pay rent using this business, the business was not bad off at first as it enabled me to put food on the table."
However, things took a completely different turn after the mitumba business was outlawed, plus Gikomba and Easley markets being closed down.
"Since the mitumba business was closed and the markets at Gikomba and Easley, I had no option but to abandon the business. I no longer had the money for food or anything; the landlord was demanding his monthly rent." The landlord just came and closed his house, locking my daughter outside and me. Despite pleading with him to allow me to recover myself, then I will clear the bills; my cries fell on deaf ears. I had no otherwise but to spend the nights on the apartment corridors under the cold."
Ms Ann claimed that she has a number of relatives in Nairobi, but none is willing to accommodate her, especially during this time.
She also tried contacting the area member of parliament, Honorable George Theuri, who told her to her face that he doesn't deal with such issues.
"Yes, I have relatives, but they all have their own issues to deal with, and none is willing to assist me. I have even tried contacting the area MP over my predicament to no avail."
The Kenyan government has not said much on the issue of rents at this time when citizens are finding it hard even to put food on the table.