In 2013, he was 7 million shillings rich. Today, he doesn’t have a place to sleep! How could things go so wrong? Miano Kaminja shared his shocking story with Kenya’s The Standard newspaper. Here is an adaptation of his story:
Miano Kaminja, 70, still has hopes that another windfall will come his way and lift him from his misery.
In February 2013, he received a Sh7 million payout after the Government acquired his two-and-a-half acre land for construction of a dam. “When I get the Sh64 million I will buy a big car and build a big hotel,” Mr Kaminja told The Standard, reminiscing about the good days three years ago when money was none of his problems.
Mr Kaminja was among about 600 families in Rukenya village, Kirinyaga County, who shared Sh5 billion from the Government to pave way for the Sh19 billion Rukenya Irrigation Dam.
The compensation was based on size of land and development and Kaminja was among those who received the least amount as his land did not have any substantial development. It is said that money is the root of all evil. This rings true for Kaminja and his family.
The payout destroyed his family; he is reported to have chased away his wife and two sons who now live in Mwea.
The elderly man then went on to splash his money in just three months. With nowhere to go, a relative has accommodated him in his Karia village home.
When he received his windfall, Kaminja lived the life of the millionaire that he was. He moved to a posh hotel in Kerugoya town and rented a room at Sh3,000 a day. He also bought himself a car which he could not even drive, and ensured that it was assigned the parking slot meant for the hotel owner.
But when he ran out of cash — part of it was looted by friends who came out of the blue — tragedy struck. The man who had never driven a vehicle in his lifetime is reported to have rushed to the parking bay and ignited his car, accelerated to full throttle and crashed it into a concrete wall, sustaining serious injuries and wrecking the vehicle. He was rushed to a nearby private hospital which discharged him even before he recovered fully after realizing that he could not afford to foot the medical bill.