Mother admits using M-Pesa 'miracle' money to spoil family

Mary Njeri Kamoko. [Photo/Lilian Chepkoech]

A woman is waiting for her verdict after she admitted spoiling herself and her family using money mistakenly send to her M-Pesa account.

When she appeared before Principal Magistrate Irene Mugo, 39-year-old Mary Njeri Kamoko pleaded guilty to the offense of withholding payment delivered to her erroneously contrary to the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act.

According to court particulars, Njeri unlawfully withheld an electronic payment sent to her via M-Pesa amounting to Sh47,500 by Christopher Momanyi.

Before the incident, Njeri who lives within Karumande shopping centre in Kariru, Kirinyaga County, visited her mother with intention of asking her to help her with food for her three children.

And while at her mother's home, Safaricom agents registering lines approached her and, since she had misplaced her phone and ID, she asked her mother to allow her register a line using her ID. 

In the evening, she went back home and that was when the money was deposited in her M-Pesa account. She neither sent it back and refused to pick the complainant's calls.

Having used her mother's ID, she went back and took the document and used it to activate her M-Pesa account. She then withdrew Sh20,000 and gave half to her male friend. She withdrew the rest later and went on a shopping spree. 

She is alleged to have bought a bed, mattress, blanket, food, paid school fees, bought her children school uniform and other clothes. By the time police caught up with her, she had exhausted the money.

She told the officers that her family had gone for days without food and that is why she used the money. 

When she appeared at a Nairobi court, she admitted committing the offense and the court directed for a mention date pending facts reading and further determination.



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