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Family’s agony at hands of maid

When John Evans Mandu’s househelp left home one Sunday morning, ostensibly to visit a relative in Umoja estate, the accountant and his wife read no mischief.

“She did not return that day and we thought maybe the girl had decided to spend the night at the relative’s house then return on Monday,” he says.

Unfortunately, she did not. They kept calling the girl’s number but the phone had been switched off.

Mr Mandu says he and his wife did not know what to do, as Monday would be a working day.

Money secretly withdrawn

“My wife suggested that we go and get another househelp from a nearby bureau. At first, I was hesitant but we had no choice. We went there and found one. She introduced herself as Macline and gave us a photocopy of her identity card.

We then paid Sh3,000 to the bureau and took the seemingly innocent girl,” he says.

Their decision had paid dividends.

“The girl we found was very hardworking. To cap it all, she developed a good relationship with my then, three and half-year-old daughter. Within a few days, we were free with each other,” he says.

One day, Mrs Mandu arrived home with a new Equity Bank ATM card. She had just renewed it.

She says she showed the card to her husband at the dining table but since food was ready, she placed the card on the chair next to her. The family then had dinner.

The next morning, she set off to work and forgot the ATM card together with the PIN number letter.

Unknown to Mrs Mandu, the ‘innocent’ girl took the card and withdrew Sh20,000 then returned the card where she found it.

“Later that day, my wife picked her card but never realised her money had been withdrawn until after five days when she made a mobile transaction. The balance in her account did not match what she thought she had and so she went to the bank,” Mr Mandu says.

The bank told Mrs Mandu that she had withdrawn the money from the Kasarani ATM. Not satisfied, she asked the bank to print photos usually taken by the machine during such withdrawals.

Go and read the terms

“The photos were not clear but I could tell it was my maid who had withdrawn the money. Without hesitation, we went to Kasarani Police station and reported the theft,” says Mrs Mandu.

Macline was arrested and when Mr Mandu went to the bureau to get his money back, the manager told him openly to go home and read the terms.

He later learnt that one of the clauses of the agreement they signed said the bureau would not be liable for any damages caused by the employee.

The househelp was later arraigned in court for theft.

“She was supposed to serve five months in prison but after the sentence, we really did not follow up on the matter again,” says Mr Mandu.