He wanted a car to start a taxi business, Uhuru bought him a Probox – PHOTOS
All Elijah Muraguri wished for was a car to kick start his life. His audacious act to personally ask President Uhuru Kenyatta to buy him one has paid off.
The 29-year-old from Ihithe, Nyeri County, wanted the president to buy him a car to start a taxi business after years of unsuccessfully searching for a job.
On Monday, President Kenyatta personally handed him the keys to a new Toyota Probox at State House, Nairobi.
“I cannot thank him enough. He has really changed my life by helping me start this business,” Mr Muraguri said.
On April 26, Mr Muraguri decided to break protocol and handed a written request to President Kenyatta during the funeral of the Late Kenneth Matiba.
He had travelled all the way from Tetu in Nyeri just to give the request to the president. He left home at around 8am for Murang’a but did not arrive at Ihura Stadium until 5pm, just as the funeral service was winding up.
Mr Muraguri, was a man with a plan.
“I sat two rows from the president so that I could be able to reach him in the shortest time possible,” he said.
When opportunity came knocking, a determined Muraguri decided to take probably the biggest risk of his life to walk to the president. His act, as expected, was not to be tolerated by the hawk eyed presidential guards who pounced on him before he could be within two feet of the president.
“They came out of nowhere. But the president told them to let me through and he asked me what I wanted,” Mr Muraguri narrated.
He told the president that his request was written down on the paper. In the tiny folded note, he had put down a budget for a Toyota Probox, insurance cover and maintenance for the car. Besides, the budget was his cell phone number.
“The president told me he would call me. His guards then carried me away,” he explained.
Albeit his mission to hand in his request was successful, Mr Muraguri found himself in trouble for breaking protocol. The poker-faced presidential guards frogmarched him to a police cruiser where he was roughly frisked before being handed over to police officers.
For a person who has never been arrested before, the next five days were hell for Mr Muraguri who became a guest of the state at Murang’a Police Station cells. He was booked for causing disturbance.
“It was very cold in there. And they gave us very little food and made us wash the cells,” he narrated.
But that did not bother him more than the thought of missing a call from the president. His worries were confirmed when he was released on free bond and given back his phone. He had close to ten missed calls from state house.
PRESIDENT’S MISSED CALL
“I called back the number and a lady told me that the president wanted to meet me. I was instructed to arrive on Monday before 8am,” he narrated.
At State House, Nairobi, he waited for two hours as the president met a group of students from Kenya High who were there to receive a new bus. He says he was offered food but settled for tea and cake.
“I did not feel like eating food. The excitement and anxiety was too much,” Mr Muraguri noted.
And when it was his turn to see the president, all Mr Muraguri remembers was a firm handshake and the head of state saying in Kikuyu, “You wanted a car for business. Here are the keys.”
The silver Toyota Probox came fully registered and insured. And as if that was not enough, he was assigned a driver to drive him home and police escort all the way from State House in Nairobi to his home village.
“Our president is a very generous man. I am really grateful because I can now run my own business,” he said.
Mr Muraguri who has only had training in driving and basic computer studies now plans to run his taxi business ferrying passenger from Tetu to Nyeri Town.
The 29 year old who is yet to marry has also made one more request to the head of state; that he attends his wedding later this year.
“I have a girlfriend and we plan to wed in church later this year. I would like to invite the president and he should not worry about transport,” Mr Muraguri says amid laughter.