Morris Mwenda denies having been adopted by Sonko, runs away from children’s home
Morris Mwenda, the street boy who won the hearts of Kenyans with his eloquence and brilliance, has run away from Gachie shelter citing mistreatment at the facility.
In a video posted on Facebook by Abdulghani Adam, Mwenda, who is in the company of other street children, said he has returned to the streets to protest the living conditions at the shelter.
Young Mwenda claimed that he was thoroughly caned by a caretaker at the home over a book.
“Look at my hand here (shows a scar on his arm). She (caretaker) was caning us thoroughly because of a book. This is Morris who met the Chief Justice (Dr Willy Mutunga), but I wonder why Morris is roaming on the streets. Morris talked about opportunity, but I am roaming on the streets,” he said in a two-minute video.
Following the viral video that propelled him into the limelight, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko offered to assist Mwenda – a promise that the teen says was not delivered.
“I have been hearing rumours that Morris has been taken in by Sonko. Those are rumours. We want to go back to school, but because we are uncomfortable where we are living in Gachie (we have returned to the streets),” he said.
According to the 15-year-old, well-wishers who had pledged their support never came through.
“(All the promises) were all talk; nothing happened. My friend here on Wednesday slept outside and because of that, we were all hurt,” he said.
The troubled teen reiterated that he is not going back to Gachie, a sentiment that was shared by his friends.
“I was also hearing rumours that I am living in a big and well ventilated house. (That is false). I am not going back to Gachie!” he stated.
Shamit Patel, the founder of the Homeless of Nairobi (HoN) organisation that took in Mwenda, is yet to comment on the mistreatment claims.
Sam Gichuru, NaiLab CEO and a contributor to HoN, however defended the home saying Mwenda and other kids sneak out of the shelter on weekends and return on Monday after making money by begging on the streets.
“Not a week goes by without incidents but I’m really glad HoN have the heart and patience to keep going on strong,” Gichuru posted on his Facebook account.
Mr Gichuru added in a separate post that though Mwenda’s admission into the home raised interest in rehabilitation of street families, the money raised was insufficient to cater for the needs of all the children accommodated at the facility.
“Less than Ksh200 thousand was contributed. Do the math for me: (keeping in mind that the money is going to) 30 kids’ food, clothing and schooling. That’s Ksh7 thousand per kid. School fees alone is Ksh30 thousand per year. That is Ksh10 thousand per term. We are still working hard to make ends meet, but you want an explanation because Morris ran away? Have you read updates to see they run away almost every Friday and come back on Monday?” he posed.
Mwenda’s life ostensibly took a change for the better when his plight was broadcast by several media stations.
He consequently met Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga who promised to offer him internship at the Supreme Court of Kenya.