Dismiss Notice
You are browsing this site as a guest. It takes 2 minutes to CREATE AN ACCOUNT and less than 1 minute to LOGIN

Tanzanian beggars striking it rich in Kenya

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Mkenya, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. M

    Mkenya Member

    #1
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Messages: 50
    Likes Received: 1
    Trophy Points: 15
    They cross the borders from Tanzania in droves headed for Nairobi to exploit the generosity of Kenyans. Now they have started spreading their wings to other towns in Kenya, writes MICHAEL ORIEDO

    Seated on a tattered mat along Tom Mboya Street, Nairobi, the elderly blind man incessantly shakes a rusty tin urging passers-by to put some money in it.

    While some do, others cast piteous glances at him and hurry away.

    And as this goes on, a young man hovers around him, intermittently picking money from the tin and stuffing it safely in his pockets.

    [​IMG]

    Beggars in Nairobi and other towns rake in between Sh500 to Sh2,000 daily by feigning disability or sickness. But a closer look reveals some lead comfortable lifestyles in the slums. [PHOTOS: Mbugua Kibera/ Standard]


    Occasionally, the man walks to the opposite street where a disabled woman sits on a rug and engages her in banter.

    The two are among dozens of disabled men and women from Tanzania who have crossed over to earn a living through begging in Kenya.

    better opportunities

    So lucrative is the trade that many Tanzanians cross into Kenya every month in search for greener pastures. CCI tracked the beggars to their dwellings in Korogocho slum, where majority of them live.
    There, we met two disabled beggars, Semunde and Maziba, who had arrived into the country from Shinyanga, Tanzania a few days ago.

    "Tulikuja kujitafutia riziki. Hapa maisha ni mazuri na watu wana roho ya kusaidia. (We came to Kenya to look for better opportunities. Here, life is good and people are good-hearted and benevolent)," Semunde explained.

    The two say a fellow Tanzanian who has lived in Kenya for several years brought them into the country.
    "We paid him Tsh10,000 (Sh500) each to bring us here. This did not include our fare," they say. Semunde, a father of two, says what inspired them to travel to Kenya is the success of fellow Tanzanians who are ‘working' in the country.

    "A village mate came here and went back home rich. He bought a piece of land, built a house and he has employed someone to run a posho mill for him as he ‘works' in Kenya," he says.

    The two also hope to strike it rich like their friends. Currently, they have started to learn the trade.
    "We go to beg in Kariobangi and adjacent areas. We do not go to the city centre because we are not familiar with this place.

    Soon, we shall start going there where people make good money," Fredrick says.

    In a day, they make a minimum of Sh500. "This is good money compared to what we used to earn back home," says Semunde who was a village elder in Tanzania.

    high value

    "Kenyan money has a high value, so if you beg and get as little as Sh200, that's a lot of money when you convert to Tanzanian currency," Fredrick adds.

    Semunde and Maziba, who are village mates, say they travelled to Kenya from Tanzania through Sirare border point in Kisii.

    "We passed through the border without any restriction. The officers did not question us about where we were going and what we were planning to do in Kenya," Maziba says.

    CCI also met Juma, a Tanzanian from Temere, Dar-es-salaam. Juma lives in Kenya with his grandmother who begs on the streets of Nairobi.

    His grandmother came into the country in 1987 and has not returned home since then.

    "When she first came to Kenya, she lived in Nairobi, then moved to Majengo, Nyeri for a few months before returning to the city," he says.

    Juma, who is married to a Kenyan, says his grandmother earns her living through begging.

    Every morning, he takes her to the city centre at a spot near the Globe Cinema Roundabout and picks her at about 8pm.

    modest families

    "On a good day, she makes about Sh2,000. However, often she makes between Sh1,000 and Sh1,500. The money has been able to take care of our needs," he says.The 37-year-old says his grandmother has declined to return home because of the money she makes in Kenya.

    "I have been forced to stay in Kenya because of her. I cannot leave her here alone since she cannot take care of herself," he says.

    Ironically, although his grandmother engages in begging, Juma comes from a modestly well off family.
    "My mother is a soldier in the Tanzanian army," he informs us. "There is a time she wanted to repatriate my grandmother but she refused to go back arguing she would be idle at home," he says.

    Juma acknowledges that begging is a lucrative trade and many Tanzanians, especially the disabled, have been lured into the country to engage in it. Some, he says, with the help of Kenyans, have turned it into a business.

    "They go to Tanzania, pick disabled people and bring them into the country after getting money from them. I have met some disabled people who have paid as much as Tsh30,000 (Sh1,670) to come to Kenya to beg," he says.

    In addition to the trafficking, he attributes the influx of the beggars in Kenya to the way disabled people are treated back home.

    "There is a time in 1990s the Tanzanian government started a programme to help disabled people. They were being given food and housing but the scheme collapsed. So many turned into begging to earn a living. But at home if you beg, you are seen as a misfit," he says.

    Mr Robert Muema, Chief Children's Officer at City Council of Nairobi says the council is alarmed with the influx of beggars on the streets.

    "We have credible information they come from Tanzania and other neighbouring countries. They are so many and a nuisance to the public. We have received many complaints about them," he says.

    However, Muema notes that the council is in a dilemma on how to handle the issue.

    "In our laws, begging is not an offence. These people can only be charged with being a public nuisance. We have arrested them before and taken them to court but they are released," he says.

    He says because the beggars are adults, the council cannot take them to rehabilitation homes.

    "When we round them from the streets, we must find a place to take them. Normally, for children, we take them to our rehabilitation centres, but for adults this is not possible," he says.

    flashy lifestyles

    The begging problem is now spreading to other towns across the country.

    "The beggars have become very crafty. They move from one town to another. They spend a week in Thika, the next in Nakuru and so on. This enables them to make more money," Muema says.However, he blames the public for encouraging the vice.

    "People have realised that Kenyans are generous. This fame has spread beyond our borders, therefore, some unscrupulous people come into the country to beg. If we restraint from giving them money, they will not be on the streets," he says.

    Muema says the city council is working with the police and the provincial administration to address the menace.

    "It is a complex affair since the East African Community protocol allows free movement of people. We would also want to deal with them in a way that does not infringe on their rights and eradicates the menace in total," he says.

    The Tanzanian High Commission did not comment on the issue even after CCI emailed questions to the High commissioner.

    In Korogocho slums where some of the beggars live, residents regard them as rich.

    They know they earn plenty of easy money from begging, therefore, they help them spend it.
    Among those who do it are chang'aa brewers and prostitutes. In the evening, it is common to see the beggars in the company of women.

    "These women will help to push their wheelchairs, prepare food and other activities so that they have a share of their money," says Naomi Wanjiru, a resident of Korogocho. Residents are also used to seeing the beggars drunk. "Some of them drink to the point that they lose their senses. You will find them lying on the road unable to trace their way back home," she says.

    Recently, fire razed down shanties and some ‘rescuers' made away with a lot of money stored in piggy banks.

    "My grandmother lost Sh20,000 in coins during the incident," Juma says. "Two of our neighbours also lost similar amounts," he says.

    Juma says they keep their money in piggy banks because they cannot open accounts in Kenyan banks.


    The Standard | Online Edition :: How foreign beggars strike it rich in Kenya
     
  2. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    #2
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Messages: 14,702
    Likes Received: 15
    Trophy Points: 0
    No comment.
     
  3. k

    kayundi2 JF-Expert Member

    #3
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Messages: 213
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    Habari Ndio Hiyo........Tafuta Greencard Nenda Kenya.Panapo na Majengo marefo yaliyezekwa na glass........Kuna mali humu ndani.
    No comment.
     
  4. Ngongo

    Ngongo JF-Expert Member

    #4
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Sep 20, 2008
    Messages: 11,863
    Likes Received: 3,099
    Trophy Points: 280
    Duh hii kali ngoja niwasubiri wenyewe watakuja na majibu mazuri.
     
  5. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

    #5
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Nov 5, 2008
    Messages: 2,233
    Likes Received: 142
    Trophy Points: 160
    hehehe.. sisemi kitu
     
  6. RealDeal

    RealDeal JF-Expert Member

    #6
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Jun 16, 2010
    Messages: 297
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    Sad sad story.
     
  7. eliakeem

    eliakeem JF-Expert Member

    #7
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: May 29, 2009
    Messages: 1,593
    Likes Received: 74
    Trophy Points: 145
    Teh, teh, i'm loughing to kinda of kny journalists professionalism and effort!!!!!!!
     
  8. s

    shytnis Member

    #8
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Jun 17, 2010
    Messages: 61
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    e.a.c
     
  9. c

    cerezo Senior Member

    #9
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Messages: 154
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 33
    in the spirit of E.A.C!! By the way, we are proud to be beggars...so says No. 1
     
  10. PainKiller

    PainKiller Content Manager Staff Member

    #10
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Messages: 2,737
    Likes Received: 3
    Trophy Points: 135
    Oh Lord ! It beggars belief !
     
  11. n

    nomasana JF-Expert Member

    #11
    Sep 29, 2010
    Joined: Aug 14, 2009
    Messages: 724
    Likes Received: 60
    Trophy Points: 45
    you do not need to! LOL

    the governements brought the EAC, how you use the EAC to benefit you is up to you! wether you are a lazy tanzanian beggin in kenya, or a kenyan seeking a cut of the tanzanite trade. it is up to you to utilise the EAC!

    let tanzanians BEG! Its their right as members of the EAC. sorry i cant say that without bursting out in laughter LOOOOL!!!!!
     
  12. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    #12
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Messages: 14,702
    Likes Received: 15
    Trophy Points: 0
    My thoughts exactly!....yaani Kenya kuna mihela kibao mpaka ombaomba wa kibongo wakitaka kupata riziki ya mihela
    basi wahamie Kenya?...Gaadem!...Wajinga kweli ndio waliwao.
     
  13. Nyaralego

    Nyaralego JF-Expert Member

    #13
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Nov 13, 2007
    Messages: 732
    Likes Received: 1
    Trophy Points: 35
    What a twist in the tale! ...I thought that KE was really a bad place, a place of no hope as far as this forum is concerned. It is what it is EA 'corporation' ahem 'Community'. Mambo ndo hayo.
     
  14. The Quonquerer

    The Quonquerer JF-Expert Member

    #14
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: May 14, 2009
    Messages: 781
    Likes Received: 2
    Trophy Points: 0
    Striking it rich..without even apostrophes to the words! This journalist is a moron, omba omba wako kila mahali..si umesikia even Kenyans are using them for survival..and they end up spending the little money with the Kenyans prostitutes, so it's a win win deal! You cannot be rich by begging from beggars! Lazy people are everywhere, even in the US!
     
  15. E=mcsquared

    E=mcsquared JF-Expert Member

    #15
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Messages: 218
    Likes Received: 1
    Trophy Points: 35
    Ukiona jitu linapenda kukusema sema sana wakati pengine hata hulijui au unalijua lakini huna mahusiano nalo, au hamna intimate relationship nalo, ujue linaku-admire sana, na usipokuwa makini, unaweza kudhani kuwa linakudharau, wakati kumbe lenyewe ndiyo huwa linadhani kuwa unalidharau. Ukishaona hivi, unakuwa ndiyo muda muafaka kwako wewe kulidharau!
     
  16. RealDeal

    RealDeal JF-Expert Member

    #16
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Jun 16, 2010
    Messages: 297
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    Wewe hujajua hilo, tangu zamani bwana we.
     
  17. 1

    1954 JF-Expert Member

    #17
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Messages: 3,968
    Likes Received: 1,884
    Trophy Points: 280
    Ukiona jitu linapenda kukusema sema sana wakati pengine hata hulijui au unalijua lakini huna mahusiano nalo, au hamna intimate relationship nalo, ujue linaku-admire sana, na usipokuwa makini, unaweza kudhani kuwa linakudharau, wakati kumbe lenyewe ndiyo huwa linadhani kuwa unalidharau. Ukishaona hivi, unakuwa ndiyo muda muafaka kwako wewe kulidharau!

    What is the meaning of this? Hii nadhani ni 'innuendo'. Hapa jamani, tunasemwa.
     
  18. A

    African Member

    #18
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Messages: 95
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    [FONT=&quot] I visited Korogocho in kenya and I was shocked with the state of abject poverty there — Poor sanitation, lack of water and related disease outbreaks are making the lives of the residents of the sprawling Korogocho slums in Nairobi even harder.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"The lack of water and improper waste disposal are a big threat to our lives due to the risk of water-borne diseases,The threat of typhoid, cholera and other diseases from poor sanitation is real."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Though some pay-toilets have been set up, the cost remains prohibitive, forcing residents to dispose of excreta in plastic bags (so-called flying toilets), which litter the area. In the past few days, a broken sewer line running from the neighbouring Kariobangi Estate has been emptying its effluence into the slum, choking the already narrow pathways between rows of houses.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The scene in Korogocho is replicated elsewhere in Kenya where rapid urbanization has meant more informal structures with little or no water and sanitation services are springing up. According to the 2009 census, an estimated one in five Kenyans uses the bush as a toilet - access to piped water covers only 38.4 percent of the urban population and 13.4 percent of rural residents.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
     
  19. Who Cares?

    Who Cares? JF-Expert Member

    #19
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Jul 11, 2008
    Messages: 2,970
    Likes Received: 1,233
    Trophy Points: 280
    only time will tell how the clock tick.... nangojea kwa hamu hiyooo EAC ambayo watu walikuwa wakiililia kwa nguvu zao zooooote
     
  20. RealDeal

    RealDeal JF-Expert Member

    #20
    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Jun 16, 2010
    Messages: 297
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    Yeah, that's sad too. But what's your point??
     
Loading...