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Hired Goons Invade Widow’s Business, Throws Her Out In What Seems Family Property Rivalry..

An unknown person yesterday hired armed hitmen to force a Thika-Based businesslady out of their rent-controlled Pork restaurant in what seemed to be a controversial family dispute over the right of income entitlement.

A gang of over 40 men, in the company of some Thika police officers, raided the business of Stella Gatwiri Kinyua, the proprietor of Pork City Original along Uhuru Street at around noon on Thursday, armed with a court order purporting to evict her from the premises for an alleged rent default.

At the time of the incident, Stella was in her office with her manager doing her normal duties when suddenly she was confronted by six muscled men ordering her to leave the premises with immediate effect. Before she could even reason with them, they pounced on her and her manager, pinned her to the corner and started ransacking her drawers, scattering her official documents all over the office. Some rushed to cut off her CCTV systems and her computers, probably to conceal their identities as well as disable all her business systems.

As this was happening, another group of about 40 other men carrying all sorts of crude weapons was busy terrorising the customers and Stella’s employees at the dining hall. They harassed everyone present, overturning the tables, spilling and pouring the clients’ foods as some of them stole from the counter and snatching valuables from their victims.

They then started throwing the furniture, stock and equipment out of the premises. By the time Thika Town Today arrived in the scene, we found everything scattered along both sides of the business entries. We witnessed quite a good number of broken soda bottles and furniture scattered along the road.

“We have lost a lot of stock and cash. These people raided the counter, stole money and actually robbed some of our customers and employees of their phones and valuables. Some of these people even ran off with the meat that was on display,” said Paul Maina, the manager.

When asked to estimates of the kind of loss incurred, Maina said, “Millions! The place was packed to capacity with clients. All of them ran away without paying their bills. We had about sh.200,000 worth of meat already in stock and had ordered some more. So many crates of soda were either broken or stolen. At the time of the incident, we had about sh.40,000 in float cash which was all stolen. The loss is enormous!” said Maina.

At one time Stella had to have first aid administered to her by her panic-stricken workers after she fainted out of shock.

When she eventually got herself composed to be able to talk to the press, Stella had this to say.

“I don’t know why these people have to do this to me. I have no rent arrears and have actually paid for this premises until June this year. I don’t know this Esther who claims to be the landlord since I have never been involved with her at any given time since I rented this place in November 2013 and has never had any trade dispute with my landlord.”

“Why does it have to be me? Is it because I am a widow or is it because I am the only woman successfully doing this pork business in Thika? I have this feeling that this might be a scheme hatched by my competitors to push me out of business but I will triumph in Jesus name,” she added.

When contacted, her lawyer said that the police acted illegally since the letter they presented to Stella was not an eviction order but a letter of notice to vacate. He said that Stella had not been served with any eviction notice prior to this invasion which was mandatory in instances like this.

He said that he would lodge a formal complaint with the courts, seeking for damages.

Pork City has a total of 27 employees who are directly employed by the firm. It also benefits hundreds more people who deal with its operations both directly and indirectly on a daily basis. Its closure will will also translate to loss of hundreds of thousands in cash transactions, not forgetting loss of revenue to the County Government of Kiambu.

By yesterday evening, the lawyer had obtained some temporary orders to allow Stella continue working as they awaited further instructions.

A jovial Stella talked to us last evening as she served her clients with her delicious pork. She thanked God so much for these new developments. 

A now composed Stella also thanked friends and well wishers who stood by her at that moment of need, Psychologist Susan Gitau for her comforting session that made her face the next moments and not forgetting her employees who were there for her throughout the whole ordeal.

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