Kenyans in April were shocked when a film of 36 year old widow, Peninah Bahati Kitsao, boiling stones for her children as a ploy to make them think she was preparing a meal went viral.
It was a painful experience that prompted many to send money to a paybill well-wishers set up for her.
The incident was widely highlighted by the media, and today, K24 reports that the committee formed to handle the matter are yet to give her the collecting money, amounting to almost 1 million shillings.
She had hitherto revealed to the media that she had exhausted the money sent directly to her Mpesa number and since she cannot read or write, a committee was formed to help her.
Today, the widow says that the committee has not sent her even a sent, and she fears that they have escaped with the more than 1 million estimated to have been collected.
“The committee members have never called to tell me where the parcel of land they allegedly bought me is located. People call to ask what I did with their money. I end up being speechless because I have never received a single coin of their contribution from the committee,” said Kitsao.
Prisca Momanyi, was the neighbour who helped highlight her plight to the media, and acknowledged that no money has been handed to Peninah.
She told K24: “I could not be part of that committee because I am the one who highlighted Peninah’s plight. I only requested to be informed occasionally about the kitty progress. Since that time to date, I haven’t heard a single word from them.
Kenyans came together to raise money for her yet she still lives in the same pathetic conditions she was five months ago, in spite of reports in May suggesting that Kitsao had been moved to a better house.
The widow still lives in her dilapidated two-bedroomed house that has not running water or electricity.
“We only read news articles in the media that they moved her to a new house and even bought her a parcel of land. When I visited Peninah recently, I was shocked to find her still living in the same house, under the same deplorable conditions.” Momanyi said.
Momanyi further said that she broke down in tears when she revealed that she was yet to receive a single penny from the committee members.
A Mombasa based rights group led by Nailah Abdallah has promised to help trace the money well-wishers sent the widow.
“As a rights group, we will follow up to ensure Peninah gets what is duly hers. Since April, she is yet to receive any concrete help. We will unravel what the committee did with the funds raised,” said Abdallah.