Swedish woman stranded after being conned in the name of love
An elderly Swedish national is stranded at Diani in Kwale County after squandering her retirement benefits on romantic escapades with her young Kenyan lover.
The ailing Ms. Anne Rundeck who is in her 60s says she longs to travel back home to seek medical treatment and for some peace of mind but she could not because overindulgence reduced her to a destitute.
She can neither afford an air ticket nor her medication for her deteriorating health condition while her passport was being withheld as security for a Sh.50, 000 loan she borrowed to make ends meet.
After blowing up her fortune with the gigolo, she is now suffering from a multiplicity of debilitating illnesses, including high blood pressure, heart and lung conditions which have taken a heavy toll on her body.
The once rich foreigner who, like many of her compatriots, was ensnared by the irresistible allure of sun, sand and sex associated with Coastal life, is now appealing for assistance in raising fare and redeeming her passport to enable her travel.
“I don’t miss Europe but I would like to go there for treatment and at least have some rest,” said the frail-looking Ms. Rundek, who was accompanied by her dreadlocked boyfriend, Hamisi Zuya from Rabai in the neighbouring Kilifi County.
The two have been in love for six years but things took a turn for the worse two years ago when the boyfriend started drinking heavily and neglecting her.
“After squandering my money, he no longer has time for me and I’m really suffering,” she added as she narrated her ordeal seated next to her partner who seemed unperturbed by her predicament.
The now penniless Ms. Rundek says she is even contemplating selling her phone and cloths to raise cash for food.
“We used to eat a balanced diet when times were good but today, I am never sure of where the next meal will come from,” she said.
She further said disbursement of her monthly pension from overseas stopped due to some hitches while her children withdrew their support when they learnt of her extravagance.
“I don’t get my monthly pension anymore due to change of address after my ex-husband sold our home,” said Ms. Rundek.
Zuya denied being wasteful with the woman’s cash, saying they spent it together and even accused her of not being business-minded. “I’m a hustler and she should be patient as I find a reliable job,” he said.
Cases of white men and women being tricked into love only to be conned by wily Africans are not uncommon in the region which is a popular tourist destination.
By Paul Karanja/James Muchai