Mum blames betting company for his son disappearance
By; Maxwell Ngala.
The mother of a teen who disappeared in unclear circumstances 10 days ago and who resurfaced on Sunday at Diani beach, Kwale County has blamed betting companies for his son’s confusion and disappearance.
Safia Mohammed, a business woman who her son Awadh Omar Faraj vanished for ten days from their Ganjoni estate home in Mombasa said that her son secretly took her Ksh. 20,000 to place a bet through SportPesa but after the loss, he run away from his home for fear that his mother would punish her thoroughly.
While addressing the media at Muslims for Human Rights- MUHURI offices in Mombasa on Monday, Safia said that the betting companies were the main cause of her son’s confusion as various advertisements of people winning millions of shillings and expensive cars would run in all television stations all the time.
She said his son, a Sheikh Khalifa Secondary school alumni who scored a B plain in last year’s KCSE examination never showed any negative behavioral change until she came back from abroad where she has been working and enrolled him at a computer college at Biashara building along Digo road, in Mombasa.
“Though I have forgiven my son and am ready to counsel him and lead him to the right direction, my worry still remains with betting companies where such young children participate and later get confused after losing a lot of money,” she tearfully added.
On his part, a remorseful and tearful Awadh publicly and in front of cameras asked for forgiveness assuring his mother that he will never repeat such a mistake.
“I have been eating bush nuts and other wild fruits at Dian beach and slept in a boat since I knew my mother would never spare me for taking her money without permission only to place a bet, I will never participate in betting games again” He said with tears rolling down his cheeks uncontrollably.
Awadh was rescued by another young man at Ukunda beach after he was seen emaciated because of hunger and he was assisted to communicate to his mother.
MUHURI Chairman Khelef Khalifa termed the incident as unfortunate and asked the government to monitor closely activities of betting companies in the country.
Khalifa said that most of the companies do not have mechanism for age restrictions and children are now actively participating in betting competitions.
“We must rescue our children from betting mania they do not have any source of income but they are persuaded to participate and being cheated that they will win big,” added Mr. Khalifa.