Evans Wambua: Mjengo Worker Who Became Technician Now Making Ruto’s Cheap Phones


Eric Wambua, who serves as a technician at the newly constructed East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited in Athi River, has narrated how he landed his secure job at the facility.

In a rare meeting with President William Ruto during a tour of the facility, Wambua narrated that he joined as a construction worker, popularly referred to as mtu wa mjengo.

After the construction of the facility was completed, he was staring at the possibility of a job loss. This he said, prompted him to be more proactive and find another job within the same facility which has been in existence for less than a year.

“Thank you our President. I joined this company as a mjengo worker. It is me who helped install the tiles on this floor,” he told the Head of State amid cheers.

President William Ruto (in white) is shown a component of the new phone at EADAK facility.

PCS

“When my mjengo work was over, I decided to ask for another job within the company because I had really struggled.”

He was later informed that a vacancy was only available in the technical department. At this point, he underwent a two-month training before being hired for the role.

“Luckily, I was told that there was a vacancy at the department operating these machines. I was trained for two weeks then I underwent an interview which I passed. I was hired as a technician,” Wambua explained.

Wambua is part of a team of hundreds of workers who have been working to deliver cheap phones promised by the Head of State to catapult Kenya’s transition to the digital economy.

The assembly was set up as a joint venture between local mobile network operators and International device manufacturers. The first smartphone assembled at the facility will retail at Ksh7,499.

“This assembly plant will support the government’s agenda to enhance digital inclusion in the country. We have been able to achieve affordability through a collaborative approach that comprises industry partnership and favourable government policies,” stated Joshua Chepkwony, the Chief Executive of Jamii Telecom who was in attendance.

The first versions to hit the market are the 4G-enabled Neon 5-inch Smarta and  6 ½-inch Ultra. Another line up of new iterations will arrive in the market in the coming months.

The factory which is in fulfillment of the government’s promise to establish local smartphone assembly capacity in Kenya has been built with a capacity to produce up to 3 million mobile phone units annually.

President William Ruto speaking during a Sunday service at Revival Sanctuary of Glory Church, Riruta Satellite, Dagoreti South, Nairobi County on October 22, 2022.

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