The influx of Tanzanian beggars and the human trafficking syndicate behind this menace.


Have you noticed that most Kenyan streets are flooded with beggars who are not of Kenyan origin?

Majority of these beggars are from Tanzania although there are also Ugandans, Burundians, Congolese, South Sudanese and Eritreans.

Many of these beggars are lured to Kenya by able-bodied Kenyans who are the main beneficiaries.

They are brought to Kenya with promises of making money and a promise of better lives on the streets in Kenya. Most of them are moved in trucks carrying foodstuffs or other goods, passing the country border without being noticed.

Up on reaching Kenya, they are distributed to different towns. In Thika, for instance, there are over 100 beggars spread across the various corridors and markets within the town.

However, these beggars remain destitute (poor) despite years of donations from well-wishing Kenyans as all the money goes to these unscrupulous people.

These beggars usually brought to the streets every morning before 6am and left to beg and picked from a specific spot in town every evening using a particular hired matatus and other forms of public transport.

Meeting collection targets set

In most instances, their bosses lets a hall in nearby towns where the beggars are housed, fed and spend their nights. It is from these houses where their hosts collect the money earned by each of these beggars.

It is understood that the beggars have set targets that they must beat everyday and those who fail to beat their targets are threatened with repatriation back to Tanzania or are physically harassed and beaten up.

These beggars dread to be taken back home as it is said Tanzanians don’t have a history of having the kind of generosity that they are accorded by Kenyans here. Kenya’s generosity has been growing in time making beggars’ rate to rise significantly.

At times when they fall out with their bosses, they are thrown out of their rented facilities and left to spend the nights on the streets where they have been exposed to robbery and rape.

There is also those Tanzanian beggars who end up in the streets after some unscrupulous people use to solicit for donor funds from foreign NGOs.

They present financing proposals to donors and pocket the cash once received, later turning their victims into slaves or and abandoning them once they get the money.

Once abandoned, the victims, another cartel takes over by facilitating their movement in the towns.
Local beggars

Apart from the foreign beggars, we have another crop of local beggars who have employed their own tricks to survive the competition.

Some able-bodied mothers, majority of him living in the neighbouring slums, have now invaded the streets carrying small children, most of whom are disabled, and use them as the dangling carrot to fish out money from unsuspecting passerbys who are touched by the kids' suffering and as a result contribute generously.

Others drop these babies to the streets every morning at particular spots in town and pick them up in the evening.

During the day, they will stand at very strategic locations and monitor how people donate their money. They will occasionally go to where the child is, pick up all the notes and leave only a few coins in the collecting bowl.

According to them, these children are the sole breadwinners for their families.

Children for hire

Then there are those who hire children for as little as sh. 200 to come and use them to beg. Majority of these children belong to alcoholic mothers who don’t mind a shilling or two in the evening after “a long day’s work” by their children.

Scary ailments.

We also have those who bring “sick people” into the streets to beg “for money to go to hospital.” Some of these people have very scary scars or disabilities which would move anyone into tears. Others are cunning enough to manipulate sickness and use old scars to con people into “raising money to meeting inflating hospital bills.”

This lot comes to the streets with their own sympathizers or crew who surround them, acting so concerned and sympathetic.

Woe unto you if you ever offer to take them to hospital as you will be met with untold insults from the beggars themselves and their accomplices who are usually ghetto criminals hanging around within that spot in order to monitor the “loot”, just in case the beggar decides to play dirty on them.

However, it is good to point out that there are those beggars in the streets who are very genuine. They come to the streets for they don't have anything else to do and use begging for survival. This is the lot that will quit begging once presented with a better alternative.

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