By Wambugu wa Kimamo
It started on Friday when I posted a vehicle am selling on OLX Kenya. A white lady posing as an interested party sent a text and enquired whether it was my vehicle. She requested me to send the interiors images of the vehicle through a Whatsapp number 0751566433.
She said she is ready to purchase it and we can arrange how we can meet.
She proposed we meet the following day, Saturday if I was available. We scheduled we meet at 11.00am since she was coming from Narok.
On Saturday morning at 7.33am, she sent a text alerting me that she is on her way from Narok heading to Nairobi purposely to see me. I wished her a quick and safe journey. After almost one and a half hours, she called informing me that she have had a small accident of which I responded am somewhere very noisy and will call back soon.
I called her back at around 10.00am. Amidst sobs, She informed me that she hit and killed two cows belonging to a Masai headsman. She alerted me how they are planning to burn her car and already they have snatched the car keys from her and she is unaware of what they are discussing about her in Swahili.
She requested me to intervene since sheb doesn’t understand Kiswahili. She gave the owner of the cows her phone and the Masai was singing war songs. he told me….”hii mama ni mang’aa sana.. namuongelesha ananikondolea macho hapa tu na haongei.. mimi tachoma hii gari yake na nimchome pia. Ameua ngombe zangu mbili …haki ya nani mimi hasamehei hii mama mzungu. Kama hatalete elfu arobaine saa hii saa hii atanitambua. Wacha nikaite masai wengine huyu mama atakupigia akilia akichomeka” I told him to cool down and give the phone back to huyo mama mzungu.
I told the lady that the Masai is demanding 40,000/= as compensation but asked her to involve the police on this issue. She calmly declined to involve the police for it will complicate issues more and she will end up paying a lot more. She argued that two cows are not worth 40k, so she better give them money rather than involve the police on this. On the background, I could hear the Masai threatening to burn the car. She requested me to remove her from that mess by speaking to the owner of the dead cows and promise him that all shall be well. I asked the lady to pay the Masai if she had the money of which she said she had 10k in cash and the rest were in the bank. So she wanted to give them the 10k she had and be allowed to go and withdraw the balance from the bank.
I informed the plans to the masai of which he declined the offer. He told me tusimchukue mjinga tukiwa na hii mzungu. “mimi hapana jinga na najua hiyo ni njia ya kutoroka. Mimi hapana kubali hiyo. Mimi amekataa” I pleaded with him to an extent of offering my self to travel to Suswa and stand for the lady so that she can leave me with her vehicle as she goes to get the 30,000/= balance. I asked the lady to call her friends so that they can sort her out since am just a stranger trying to assist her. She told me its barely one month since she came to Kenya. They are based in Narok where their nobble work is to assist the needy. The only friend she has went for burial and she is not picking her phone. I could hear the lady utter amidst our conversation…’oh my god, what do they want to do now, they have sorrounded my car” I called the masai again and this time he was more hostile than before.
I had to find means to calm him down and explain to him that it was impossible for him to get money if he won’t either stay with the car or release the madam to go and fetch money for him or either still, he accompany her to the bank. He told me she can’t leave his livestock and he wants to move ahead to graze. We bargained and came down to 35k. I asked him if he gets the half of that amount whether she can release the lady to go and get the balance of which he accepted. So I informed the lady of the new developments. She insisted she only have 10,000/= and If I can assist her and remove her from that mess, she could refund and reward me with extra 5000/=. “Am very uncomfortable here, kindly remove me from this mess I beg you, trust me, am a church woman and I can never lie”
I called myself for a brief meeting with myself. I asked myself, what if its me who is in such a situation in a foreign land. Not even in a foreign land,..hapa hapa tu mbele ya Ruiru.
I checked my whatsapp and found she had sent some images of the scene of accident. There lied two dead cows and a vehicle registration Number KBR 423G. My doubts were over. This must be a genuine case and I might be very ungodly if I don’t assist that mzungu hata kama simjui. I remembered Mother Teresa…. I also remembered our own Baba Teresa a.k.a.. Ndungu Nyoro. I remembered the words, “Service to Humanity is Service to God” Here is a lady who was coming to buy my car and she was involved in an accident and she is now trouble because of me. If I choose to ignore him and his vehicle burnt down, is such a vehicle worth 35,000/=. If they harm her, is her life worth 35K.?
I called her once more and asked her, what do we do now,?. “If you could only add me 10k, I will be comfortable with that and in two hours time, I will come and refund your money as I buy that car you are selling. Without a second thought, I sent 10K to the Masai (Munamai Yohana Memoriki – 0712350164) and confirmed whether he has received. I told him to get the other 10k from the Mzungu and release her and in two hours time he will get his money through mpesa. He agreed.
Two minutes were not over when Masai called me back. “hii mzungu yako nitachoma sasa.. mnanichezea nini haki ya mungu… msiniongeleshe tena nyinyi sasa.. angalia ile pesa huyu mama mang’aa ananitolea,.. pesa fake pesa ya majano pesa sijawahi ona maisha yangu yote. Anafikiria mimi mjinga sijui pesa..heish!!..” I was lost for words. I told him to give me a minute. I called the mzungu and asked her why he was embarrassing the masai and the game was almost over. She told me she has 100 dollars and they are equivalent to 10,000 Kenya Shillings….. “and you are giving 100 dollars to a Masai headsman.?”.. I asked.. I got angry but restrained myself coz already she owed me 10k and 5k as a token.
I had no other option but to sweet talk the Masai to accept some other 5k and take the situations as they are for I had no other money in the mpesa account. He had to accept on conditions that am the one to send the balance after two hours because he doesn’t want to deal with that silly mzungu again. I sent the 5K to him amounting to 20k. Immediately, he released the Mzungu. She was very thankful. I wished her a safe journey and urged her to drive carefully rest she gets herself in another mess. It was approaching some minutes to one.
At 3.30pm. I enquired how far she is. She was past Limuru. Nikajua huyu mzungu anakuja tu. Pesa yangu nitapata na nimuuzie gari. I started to celebrate.
She told me that her phone was low in power and I give her some moment to switch it off and as soon as she comes near Nairobi, she will give me a call. She told me that she was traumatized by the accident and she is driving at a very slow speed. I understood her. Nikamwambia zima simu basi. I had no problem with that juu ikizima tutacommunicate na nini.
It was around 5 pm when she gave me a call. I was very patient with her for I had gained full confidence and trust. She told me she has been arrested by police and she isn’t understanding what they are telling her. She gave the officer her phone and we talked. He told me, ‘mkubwa, huyu mama mzungu tumemshika na tunampeleka police station juu inaonekana amefanya accident pahali, indicator light hakuna na hana police abstract.” I pleaded with them nikawaambia I don’t know that lady but nilimsaidia na sioni kwanini pia wao wasimsaidie.” He then told me..”Kama wewe hapana jua yeye ni biashara gani hii mko naye.. nyinyi ni wale mnauza mercury hapa.? I became irritated for I knew his motive. I pleaded with him to write an abstract for her and show her the shortest route to Ngong road. He told me the fee required for an abstract is 3500/=.
I asked the mzungu to deal with him if she has money but told me she has not changed the dollars because she didn’t want to waste more time on the way. I talked with the officer and asked him to assist him but he insisted that I send 1000/= and she will get the abstract and the receipt for the same. He gave me his number (Ibrahim Mumia – 0702779688) Add another one thousand to 20k. The lady was greatful once more and promised she will refund all the money I had spent.
It was approaching 6pm and something told me that it was better we meet in town, I get my refund and plan about the car may be the next day. I told her to drive to town and when he is somewhere convenient, he can alert me so that I can find her. I remembered some words from my wife when I told her am going to meet a stranger. She told me its advisable to be in a company of another person isiwe yuko na motive mbaya. I left my place of work at almost 6.20 and by 6.45, we were in town with one of my workmates.
I called her and she told me to meet her in Hilton Hotel. Within no time we were inside Hilton hotel demanding to see our guest. We calmly sat at the reception area and made another call. She told us she is in Hilton, Double Tree. The security informed that Double Tree is along Ngong Road and that is where she might be. I called her once more and confirmed that in deed, she is in Double Tree, Ngong road. We headed there at supersonic speed. By the time we reached at the gate, it had started raining. We were treated as guests by the security who were very friendly.
They covered us with umbrellas from the parking area to the reception. We sat comfortably and made another call. This time, her phone was off. I was not amazed because I knew it might happen at any time. I went around the hotel checking any guest lady who might be sitting alone. I went asking those lonely white ladies whether am the one they were expecting. I found none. I went back to the security desk at the gate. I narrated my story and told them am sure her phone might be off due to low power. We went through the parking at the basement but didn’t find her car. I went to his whattsapp account to check her image again.
She had removed her photo and her status. I tried to call but the reply was “ The number you are trying to call is incorrect, please check the number and try calling again.”. That’s when I told my collegue…” hapa naona kama nimechezewa… I have been conned” And that was it. The Maasai’s phone was off, The police’s officers phone was off, the mzungu’s phone was off to this day.
CONMAN BUSINESS IS REAL…
IT HAPPENED TO ME.
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