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Madaraka Day dancers spend night in cold, Uhuru intervenes with Sh3m

A group of 462 women who entertained attendants of Madaraka Day celebrations at Kabiru-ini grounds in Nyeri County have been paid Sh3.2 million following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention.

Nyeri County Commissioner Ngumo Karuku said the women were paid their dues by State House following their standoff with the County government.

“The President intervened and they have been paid. The money is for allowance fee promised for the six days they had practiced their songs prior to the celebrations,” said Mr Karuku.

The women, some carrying their children less than three years old, spent the night in the streets of Nyeri town after the county government failed to pay them on time.

Jane Gathinwa, from Kabaru location in Kieni constituency, said the county government hired them with a pay pledge of Sh1,000 daily for each dancer.

Wearing black and white attires, the women thrilled the crowd with traditional songs and dances in the event attended by the President, his deputy William Ruto, ambassadors and other dignitaries.

“We had no fare and the local government officials jumped the deal. We later camped outside the IEBC offices where we were allowed to spend the night in the corridors. Some politicians came and gave us breads and sodas for supper,” said Ms Gathinwa.

She added that two old women collapsed during the night due to hunger and cold and were rushed at the County Level Five hospital for treatment.

“We walked from Kabiru-ini grounds after the county government neglected us. But we appreciate the President has saved us,” said Leah Mumbi another traditional dancer.