Have you managed to pay your rent for the month of April or are you in the statistics of the 5 million Kenyans whose budgets have been frustrated by COVID-19, if you are, how is your landlord responding?
Well, things are not so easy for one Ruth Shiundu from Kawangware estate in Nairobi her landlord has taken off the house’s roof and taken the door down with a grinder, her four children sit there looking lost as bystanders watch.
Ruth Shiundu has not paid her rent for the last two months and her landlord has run out of patience and resulted to do what our great government is doing to us, demolish the house only he did not finish the job.
With no door to secure her small belongings and the lives of her four children, Ruth has no way of hiding from the glaring eyes of the members of the public who stand by lost in thoughts making incoherent whispers.
“I have always paid the rent on time but this COVID-19 has made my mtumba business impossible in Kawangware as my customers are keeping off and asking where the clothes have been exported from, I’m stuck with the mtumba clothes and no money to pay bills and fend for my children,” Ruth says in Swahili as she drops to cover her face.
“The Landlord has decided to shame my children and me irrespective of having been prompt at paying the rent before COVID-19 hit, i do not know where to get that rent as painful as it is to watch my children shiver in this cold,” Ruth says.
Ruth’s Landlord is adamant that Ruth should vacate the house or pay the last two month’s rent arguing COVID-19 has affected everyone in a meeting at the Chief’s place where the Chief failed to arbitrate.
“He had warned me that if I won’t have paid 10th of May 2020 I would be forced to move out of the house, I have tried my very best but it did not work and when he came for the money and found that I did not have it, he resulted to getting a grinder and taking down the door,” Ruth says.
The Kenya Bureau of Statistics estimates that 30.5 percent of Kenyans could not pay their monthly rent in the month of April 2020 as COVID-19 effects are biting hard into the economy.
Only 59.8 percent of Kenyans were able to pay their monthly rent in April 2020 and if you fall in this category and are in a situation to assist, pull up your friends, neighbours and relatives and help survive this COVID-19 pandemic.