A mum who made international headlines by making dinner for her hungry kids using stones in the hope they would fall asleep before it was ready has been moved to a safe house to protect her from people who are trying to grab cash she received after an outpouring of goodwill.
Widow Peninah Bahati, from Mombasa, Kenya, received the cash from kind strangers after they heard that she was boiling the stones in a pot in a bid to comfort her kids.
The claim that she hoped the sight of food being prepared might comfort her children made headlines not only in Kenya but also around the world, and many people sent cash to the desperate mum, whose husband died some years back.
But since the windfall, the woman’s relatives have reportedly been trying to pocket the cash by pestering her for a share of her good fortune.
According to local media, Kisauni Deputy County Commissioner Jamleck Mbuba told a meeting last week that some of her relatives had even been trying to steal her money from her banking and mobile money accounts.
Mbuba reportedly told the meeting: “They even stole her national ID card and went to the bank with it hoping they would be able to withdraw some money.”
Mbuba is now one of those on an eight-person committee designed to help the widow manage her new found cash.
The problem of family members hoping for some of the money has become so bad that council officials have hidden the mum in a new temporary safe house in order to give her and her kids some peace.
The committee is helping the mum build a new house and has enlisted her kids onto the country’s health insurance system.
Her plight came to light when concerned neighbour Prisca Momanyi told Kenya’s NTV about it after she heard the children crying because they were hungry.
But the mum admitted that the stunt had not worked very well because the kids had discovered it was stones in the pot, and had become annoyed.
She said: “They started telling me that they knew I was lying to them, but I could do nothing because I had nothing.”
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Story By: Conor Sheils, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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