Villagers of Kwaregi village in Lari sub-county have incorporated a Ugandan national in their Nyumba Kumi initiative to help in the vetting of foreigners in the area with a view of boosting security.
Daniel Oniara Majeme, 42, who has been living in the area for over two decades has already been socialized into the Kikuyu customs having married from the area.
And among his key assignments in the new arrangement, Majeme will participate in vetting all non-locals invited to visit or those intending to settle in the area for social-economic reasons.
The Ugandan, as the chairman of the local Nyumba Kumi structure is now mandated to see to it that all foreigners visiting Kwaregi village are not criminals.
In an exclusive interview with KNA Saturday, Majeme said in the past three years, he had been assisting local administrators vet foreigners finding their way into the locality to weed out those with criminal records.
He said among those handed over to security apparatus included a man who was found to be a bhang peddler from Kisii county. “When we discovered that he had come into our neighbourhood to destroy people’s lives by selling them bhang, we handed him over to the authorities,” Majeme added.
Elsewhere, two Ugandans, man and a woman were also handed to authorities for stealing chicken and selling changaa.
The fourth culprit was a woman from Western Kenya whom villagers complained was a “husband snatcher” and had migrated into the area to prey on randy fathers. She too was also chased away from the area and shifted to unknown place.
The chairman said he first arrived in Kenya in 1993 and got married to Eunice Wairimu from Naivasha with whom they have five children, four girls and one boy.
During his stay in Kenya, he proved to be a trusted worker where he has been picking tea for his entire stay in the country. His remarkable honesty earned him recognition from the local leadership and residents elected him as the chairman of foreigners, a job he executed diligently whenever called upon to do so.
Majeme is well known even by the Lari Member of Parliament Jonah Mburu who is in full support of the chairman who has helped bring security into the area.
Meanwhile, any visitor coming to Kwaregi has to avail identification documents, for community policing members to confirm that he/she did not have a criminal record from the place of origin.
“If we discover that the person was not of good standing, we consult his/her home administration with a view of either repatriating them to face penalties for whatever crime they had committed,” Majeme said.
He also noted that monthly meetings held in the area have also helped a lot in maintaining peace in the predominantly farming community that relies on casual laborers from the other regions.
Historically, a multitude of Ugandans fled to Kenya during the reign of their former President Idi Amin Dada in the 1970’s.
But even after the dictator was toppled and fled the country, Ugandans experienced unrest which compelled many of them, afraid of the war to flee to neighboring states, with Kenya hosting majority of those who crossed over through Busia, Malaba and Bungoma.
They worked as casual laborers, home keepers, house girls, bar attendants, while some of those who were educated landed themselves teaching opportunities in Kenyan schools.
It was only after President Yoweri Museveni took over power in 1986 that most of them returned home to piece together their lives.
A resident from Kwaregi, David Ngure lauded the chairman for the good work he was doing in vetting foreigners which had ensured peace in the area over the years.
He said the foreigners had contributed immensely to agricultural development in Lari sub-county. “If these people returned to their original homes, we can’t produce the food that we have in this area as they are the ones who spend all their times in our farms doing all sorts of jobs. They tend our farms from morning to sunset without complaining and they are also committed to their work as they appreciate the monthly dues they get from their employers,” added Ngure.
By Lydia Shiroya