Peninah Bahati Kitsao, a 36-year-old Kenyan woman from Kisauni, Mombasa who made headlines in May after she was found boiling stones for her starving children is still living in poverty despite overwhelming support from well-wishers.
After her story went viral, Kenyans including those living abroad came out in large numbers to support her through cash donations, shopping, food, and other stuff.
Some of the cash was deposited to a bank account opened for her while others sent their donations directly to her phone through mobile money platforms. Reports indicate more than Sh1 million was raised and a committee was formed to help her manage the fortune.
But Peninah now claims she has never received any cash from the committee and has already spent all the money sent to her mobile phone, according to Prisca Momanyi, the neighbor who highlighted her plight.
“Peninah received a lot of funds, amounting to over Sh1 million if I am not wrong. 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 the committee members,” said Prisca as quoted by K24 Digital.
“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. When I asked her what happened to the money well-wishers contributed for her, she broke down in tears, saying she was yet to receive a single penny from the committee members.”
Peninah said members of the committee have never shown her the parcel of land they allegedly purchased for her.
“They (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,” she said.
Her husband Kaingu Charo was killed by thugs in Mariakani in June last year, leaving her to fend for their eight children on her own. Peninah remained with seven children after she lost her four-month-old daughter Mary Kaingu on May 7th. Her eldest child is 22 years old.