Weekly Citizen

Meet Uhuru’s classmate in abject poverty – Weekly Citizen

The son of former veteran politician and Education minister, the late Taita Towett who is living in abject poverty has appealed to Uhuru Kenyatta to come to his rescue and bail him out.

David Kipngetich Towett, 58, who attended the prestigious St Mary’s Primary School in Nairobi together with Uhuru, hopes that the President will retrieve him from the hell of poverty he is currently in which will in turn enable him offer a decent life to his eight children some who have dropped out of school due to lack of school fees.

Kipngetich said he had big dreams of walking in the footsteps of his eloquent and generous father who took him to USA for a period of two years (1963-1964) where he attended kindergarten while his late father was furthering his studies.

Back home in Kenya in 1964, the senior Towett enrolled him at St Mary’s Primary School where he met Uhuru while in Class Four.

He adds that he left the school that year to join Elburgon Primary School where he completed his primary school education as his late father moved to Kericho to pursue political ambitions in Sotik, Bomet county. He completed his secondary education at Taita Towett Secondary School in Kericho in 1976.

He cherishes 1968 to 1969 years while at St Mary’s Primary School, recalling the times he used to play and interact with Uhuru and other pupils most of whom were of European descent.

Toweet son then

With glimmering eyes, Towett speaks of how he last met his classmate Uhuru three years ago in Kericho town. He said he managed to break through security details during the opening of Imarisha Kebbo plaza along Kericho– Nakuru Highway on December 9 2016 to catch the eye of the head of state.

The date is still clear in his mind as he narrates that his action paid off though briefly as he got to talk to the president along the Kericho-Kisumu highway, near the entrance to Kericho county commissioner’s offices where his motorcade had stopped briefly for him to address wananchi. But, he said he got cold feet after Uhuru directed him to enter one of the security escort vehicles. To this day, he regrets for not following the instruction from the president.

“I got nervous and found myself not moving despite talking to the president of the republic face to face. I only have in possession a newspaper cutting of a photo by Taifa Leo that was taken showing me talking to the president. I regret for not entering his security motorcade as he had directed,” said Towett.

Like his father who always kept time and often chided latecomers, Towett who is also known as Mapema dreams of seeing his daughter who dropped out from Moi University, Eldoret while in her second year due to lack of fees resume education. “I have hope of seeing my daughter complete her university and become a secondary school teacher upon completing her studies. She would have become a pillar of strength to the family. I am appealing to president Uhuru Kenyatta to grant me this wish,” he added.

At Sitian village in Chepseon, Kericho County, he sits outside his first wife’s house, struggles to speak and is easily overcome by emotions. He regrets the kind of life he has had to live following the untimely death of his father in a road accident in 2007. At the time, he was 46.

“I worked in the Kenya Army for just two years from 1980 to 1982 before being dismissed. I was an errand person doing menial duties. At the time, my late father was the Education minister. I then joined Mau Forest Tea Factory where I worked shortly before joining Marinyiny Tea Factory where I worked as a supervisor from 1984 to 1987. In 1989, I joined Telkom Kenya where I worked as a porter in Nakuru, Kericho and Bomet counties until 1997. After leaving Telkom, I became a smallscale farmer. I ought not to have relapsed into poverty despite the loss of the family’s main breadwinner, my father,” he states.

Towett, a father of eight children says numerous attempts to seek help from his late father’s close friends and associates including former president Daniel Moi and former president Mwai Kibaki have never borne any fruits. To date, he claims the family has not been able to access any of his late father’s benefits and properties. The father, he added passed on without leaving a will.

He discloses that his late father was a polygamous man with five wives and 32 children most of whom are living in different parts of the country.

“My late father, D Taita Towett, was a polygamous man. He had five wives. My mother the late Mrs Rachel Towett, was the first wife. I am the sixth born in a family of 12 children. All my stepmothers have passed on and up to date, our late father’s large family has not been able to access any of his benefits. We cannot lay a claim to any of my late father’s properties because there was no document left behind, proving that he was the true owner,” said Towett.

He says his family story is one of grace to grass. One time, they had it all, and today, that’s gone. Towett describes life when his father was alive as rosy and he was able to rub shoulders with the high and mighty in society. He adds that his health is failing and with no steady source of income he cannot adequately provide for his large family.

“I don’t know what crime I did to deserve such a life. I pray that this ends,” a teary Towett adds.


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