The son of former veteran politician and Education Minister, the late Dr. Taita Towett, who is living in abject poverty has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to his rescue.
David Kipngetich Towett, 58, said he attended the prestigious St Mary’s Primary School in Nairobi together with President Kenyatta hopes that the Head of State can save him from the jaws of poverty.
Towett wants to give a decent life to his eight children, some of whom have dropped out of school over lack of tuition fees.
Kipngetich said he had big dreams of walking in the footsteps of his eloquent and generous father who took him to the US for two years (1963-1964) where he attended kindergarten while the big man furthered his studies.
Back in Kenya in 1964, the senior Towet enrolled him at St Mary’s Primary School where he met Uhuru in Class Four.
But he says that he left the school that year to join Elburgon Primary School where he completed his basic education as his father moved to Kericho to pursue politics in Sotik, Bomet County.
He completed his secondary education at Taita Towett Secondary School in Kericho in 1976.
Towett says cherishes the two years, 1968-1969, he spent at St Mary’s Primary School, recalling the times he used to play and interact with Uhuru and other pupils most of them of European descent.
With glimmer in his eyes, Towett speaks of how he last met his famous classmate three years ago in Kericho town.
He said he managed to break through the security detail during the opening of Imarisha Kebbo Plaza on Kericho-Nakuru highway on December 9, 2016 to catch the President’s attention.
The date still is clear in his mind, saying that his action paid off albeit briefly as he got to speak with the President near the entrance to Kericho County Commissioner’s offices where his motorcade had stopped briefly for him to address wananchi.
But, he said he got cold feet after Uhuru directed him to enter one of the security escort vehicles. To this day, he regrets not heeding the President’s instructions.
“I got nervous and found myself not moving despite talking to the President of the Republic face-to-face. I only have in possession a newspaper cutting of a photo by Taifa Leo that was taken showing me talking to the President. I regret for not entering his security motorcade as he had directed,” says Towett.
Like his father, who always kept time and often chided latecomers, Towett who is also known as Mapema, dreams of seeing his daughter who dropped out of Moi University, Eldoret while in her second year resume her education.
“I have hope of seeing my daughter complete her university and become a secondary school teacher. She would have become a pillar of strength to the family. I am appealing to President Kenyatta to grant me this wish,” he says.
At Sitian village in Chepseon, Kericho County, Towett seats outside his first wife’s house, strugglig to speak and as he is easily overcome by emotion.
He regrets the kind of life he has had to live following the untimely death of his father in a road accident in 2007.
“I worked in the Kenya Army for just two years from 1980 to 1982 before being dismissed. I was an errand person doing menial duties. At the time, my late father was the Education minister. I then joined Mau Forest Tea Factory where I worked shortly before joining Marinyiny Tea Factory where I worked as a supervisor from 1984 to 1987. In 1989, I joined Telkom Kenya where I worked as a porter in Nakuru, Kericho and Bomet counties until 1997. After leaving Telkom, I opted to become a small-scale farmer. I ought not to have relapsed into poverty despite the loss of the family’s main breadwinner, my father,” he says.
Towett, a father of eight, says numerous attempts to seek help from his late father’s close friends and associates, including former president Daniel Moi and former president Mwai Kibaki have never borne any fruit.
To date, he claims the family has not been able to access any of his late father’s benefits and properties. The father, he added passed on without leaving a will.
His father, he says, was a polygamous man with five wives and 32 children most of whom are living in different parts of the country.
“My late father, Dr Taita Towett, was a polygamous man. He had five wives. My mother the late Mrs. Rachel Towett was the first wife. I am the sixth born in a family of 12 children. All my stepmothers have passed on and up to date, our late father’s large family has not been able to access any of his benefits. We cannot lay a claim to any of my late father’s properties because there was no document left behind proving that he was the true owner,” said Towett.
He says his family story is one of grace to grass. One time they had it all, and today, that’s gone.
Towett describes life when his father was alive as rosy and he was able to rub shoulders with the high and mighty in society.
With failing health and no steady income, he cannot adequately provide for his large family.
“I don’t know what crime I did to deserve such a life. I pray that this ends,” a teary Towett adds.