-Deputy President William Ruto was in Kakamega County at the weekend for a funds-raiser when rain interrupted his event.
-With his entourage, Mr Ruto dashed to a nearby hotel for tea in a visit that may change the life of the proprietor.
Ms Susan Mukasia was going about her chores in her dingy kiosk at Shianda market in Kakamega County on Sunday when guests trooped in and to her surprise asked to be served with tea.
As luck would have it, Deputy President William Ruto who was with Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali and several other lawmakers were presiding over a funds-raiser for boda boda operators nearby when it started raining heavily.
The fund-raiser was briefly disrupted by the rain and that is when Mr Ruto leaned over and asked Mr Washiali if they could dash to the nearby hotel and have tea as they wait for the storm to subside.
But before Mr Washiali could respond, the DP rose up and started walking towards a battered eatery built with wooden planks.
When the DP got in and sat on a wooden chair and asked to be served tea, Ms Mukasia, 43, was taken by surprise and did not know what to say.
“I saw the DP who was accompanied by Benjamin Washiali walk into my kiosk causally and took a seat at a table. He then waved at me as he requested to be served tea and chapati. His other friends ordered tea and mandazi,” said Ms Mukasia.
Still dazed by the unexpected visitor, Ms Mukasia composed herself and served the DP and his entourage.
“I only had ordinary cups and as I was making preparations to send for better cups when Mr Ruto said he was ready to take the tea from the cups we had,” said Ms Mukasia while reflecting on the incident at her kiosk.
On Monday, when the Nation team visited her kiosk, she said the visit by the DP was a miracle she had never imagined would happen in her life.
After Mr Ruto and his team had finished enjoying their cup of tea, the DP asked Ms Mukasia whether she was the owner of the kiosk.
“I told him I had rented the place and paid Sh5,000 monthly. He thanked me for the tea and good service and asked me how much was the bill. I told him I could not remember the exact since I was overwhelmed by the visit,” said Ms Mukasia.
The DP then gave her Sh100,000 and asked her to continue working hard to promote the business.
Ms Mukasia, who usually serves boda boda operators and travellers waiting to board vehicles at the Shianda market, is yet to come to terms with Mr Ruto’s visit and generosity.
“I can’t believe that I got the rare opportunity to serve the DP in a makeshift kiosk,” said Ms Mukasia.
Inside the kiosk, there are three wooden tables covered by flowery mats, four old table chairs and two wooden benches.
In one corner, stands an old jerrican that contains water for clients to wash their hands.
The joyful Ms Mukasia sits on a stool placed at the door leading to the kitchen.
At the entry to kitchen, a manila paper with the words: “NO ENTRY TO VISITORS” dangles from a piece of strings at the doorway.
“l have been seeing the face of Mr Ruto on the television and never imagined l would engage with him face to face. But God has finally performed a miracle for me,” Ms Mukasia said as her face beamed with joy.
From the rusty roof, beams of the sun’s ray penetrated into the room lighting up the place as customers trooped in to find out what had happened.
Ms Mukasia is a single mother. She lives with her daughter and comes from Kabras in Kakamega North Sub-County.
She said when the DP popped into her kiosk amid other government officials, she thought they were plain-clothed police officers who wanted to arrest her.
“One of them greeted me and I recalled having seen the face on TV several times. I then realised it was Mr Ruto and my heart started beating quickly since I did not know what he wanted. But as if he had read my mind, he told me not to worry and ordered for tea,” she said.
The DP insisted to be served ordinary tea that she serves her clients.
She added: “l served him with tea and chapati. He told me to sit down and we started talking.”
Then the DP introduced her to his entourage that included Senate Speaker Lusaka, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and local MP Washiali.
Ms Mukasia, who said she has never handled such a big amount of money before, said she will renovate the kiosk and furnish it with better furniture.
“l will spare money to buy a cow and name it after the DP in remembrance of this day,” she said.
Ms Mukasia said residents of Shianda market were flocking to her kiosk with some demanding to be served from the same table the DP sat on.
On Monday, Ms Mukasia gave her customers a surprise by treating them to free meals and tea.