How Lost ID Led to Mother Serving 2 Years in Jail

A photo of Scholastica Wayego speaking to Itugi TV on October 20, 2023.
A photo of Scholastica Wayego speaking to Itugi TV on October 20, 2023.
Itugi TV

Scholastica Wayego's plight began unexpectedly when she lost her identification card at a matatu stage, a circumstance nobody could have foreseen.

During an interview with Itugi TV, the mother of three recounted the costly mistake that landed her behind bars at Thika Prison. 

The story began in December 2012 when Wayego prepared to enrol her second-born child at Kamiti Secondary School in Nairobi. She expressed her joy at her children's educational opportunities, considering she dropped out of school early owing to the numerous challenges she faced in her upbringing. 

Wayego took up various odd jobs to raise the necessary school fees, often sacrificing her own needs in the process. 

A photo of the entrance of Thika Main Prison.
The entrance to Thika Main Prison.

On that fateful day, she gathered all the required certificates in a brown envelope and set off from her Githurai residence to take her son to school.

"I had carried the documents needed in a big envelope and went to board a matatu at the stage in Githurai. However, a fight broke out between various conductors, forcing us to alight from the matatu we were in. At the time, it was raining, so it was chaotic. I remember going to board another matatu, but I lost the envelope," she stated.  

"When I arrived, I realised the envelope was missing. The envelopes included my Identification Cards, my child's birth certificate. I went back to the stage but did not find the envelope. My only mistake at that time was that I did not report my ID was stolen."

Seemingly unbothered by her missing ID, Wayego focused on raising funds for her children's education. Her attention shifted the following year when she received a call informing her of a meeting with then-presidential aspirant Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, who were interested in engaging with chama groups in Nairobi.

Eager to see what the politicians had in store, she joined the gathering at a Kasarani club. While awaiting the politicians, an unknown woman suddenly called out her name. Confused but compliant, Wayego raised her hand.

To her shock, the woman was accompanied by police officers who arrested her.

"First, I was taken to Ruiru Police Station. The ladies we were with demanded to know why I was being arrested. The officers kept pressuring me to give out the name of my husband (John Gecaga) and state where the money is," she indicated.

Clueless about the allegations, Wayego clarified that her ex-husband was named John Gecaga, not the John Macharia they were referring to. 

She was then processed, her fingerprints taken and charged with fraudulent land sales alongside her husband and a minor identified as JN, a situation she found perplexing.

A photo of a person in handcuffs.
A photo of a person in handcuffs.
Barbados Loop

While awaiting to be arraigned in court, she discovered that her ID was used in illegal land transactions. Over time, she attended numerous court sessions, persistently pleading her innocence and questioning why her lawyer hadn't cross-examined the witnesses who were lined up to testify against her.

From 2013 to 2018, Wayego attended court sessions for mentions. In 2018, she was sentenced to two years in prison. 

"We were sentenced to two years each or a Ksh400,000 fine. JN, the minor implicated in the case, was released after his fine was paid. In my case, I tried but couldn't find the amount. I was taken to Thika Prison and then transferred to Nyahururu after six months. 

"Because of the cold conditions, I developed health problems and pleaded with the officers to be transferred to Murang'a Prison. They agreed, and I served the rest of my sentence there. During that time, I was rushed to hospital multiple times because of my health."

In April 2020, after two years, Wayego was released. She extended her forgiveness towards those who wronged her despite the hardships she endured in prison. 

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