On Wednesday, August 9, the 24-year-old hairdresser stated that she resorted to selling porridge and mandazi on weekends to make ends meet after her parents lost money in the controversial project, which attracted nationwide condemnation. Tarus graduated from Kabarak University in 2021 and has been volunteering at a local school for three months. She also took a short course in hairdressing to boost her income. She also writes poems to create awareness of mental health issues.
Jonathan BiiMercy Tarus a graduate of Kabarak University has explained why she was pained by the alleged misappropriation of Sh50 million meant to facilitate the airlift of students to study in Finland and Canada.Speaking to the media after her address to the county leadership went viral, Mercy explained that her parents were very proud of her courage, especially since they had contributed money for her education.
“My dad told me he has a soldier in the house. My mom had not seen the video until Tuesday morning. She said I spoke for the youth and should continue,” Taurus said.
She added that the family had taken loans to pay nearly Sh1 million to Uasin Gishu county to facilitate her planned study abroad.“This is like highway robbery in broad daylight and then they use government protection,” she said without fear of the consequences of her viral speech.Mercy said she works in a salon during the week and sells porridge on weekends to make ends meet.“There are two loans that she (mother) is paying for and she cannot be able to secure another loan,” the Kabarak University Graduate said.Mercy expected that the county government would refund their money when she went to the meeting convened by Governor Jonathan Bii.
“I want the leaders to return our money, we have been hearing stories and we are now tired. I want to appeal to His Excellency, the President, to fight for us. Uasin Gishu is burning, we are suffering, we are depressed, we want our money,” Ms Tarus said.
In her message to President William Ruto, she urged the head of state to intervene for the residents to get justice.
“This government was meant for the hustlers, I saved up money from selling porridge and mandazi, so I could create a better life for myself. Please, Rais, don’t be silent, we voted for you, fight for us,” she said.
According to Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago, who was the governor when the airlift program was mooted, a delay in payments by parents was the reason the initiative failed.