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Needy Taita Towett’s son seeks President’s audience

David Kipn’getich Towett posing for a photo with his eldest daughter, Viola Chepkoech who dropped out of Moi University in 2013 for lack of fees where she was pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Photo by KNA.
David Kipn’getich Towett posing for a photo at an undisclosed location in Kericho during heydays. The photo was taken when he was 40 years. Photo by KNA.

The  son to former veteran politician and Education Minister, the late Dr. Taita Towett who is living in abject poverty has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to his rescue.

David Kipngetich Towett, 58, who attended the prestigious St Mary’s Primary School in Nairobi together with President Uhuru Kenyatta 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 Towet enrolled him at St. Mary’s Primary School where he met President Uhuru Kenyatta 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 Kenyatta and other pupils most of whom were of European descent.

With glimmering eyes, Towett speaks of how he last met his classmate; President Uhuru Kenyatta 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 9th December, 2016 to catch his eye on the Head of State.

The date still clear in his mind, 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 Commissioners 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 at 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, Towett seats 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 opted to become a small-scale 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 Toroitich arap 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, Dr. 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.

By  Sarah  Njagi

David Kipn’getich Towett posing for a photo at Sitian village at his first wife’s homestead. Photo by KNA.

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