NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Kenya on Tuesday launched an appeal to raise funds to assist victims of the Molo and Nakumatt fires.,
During the launch at his Harambee House office, President Mwai Kibaki said that the Nakumatt/Molo Fire Victims Fund would be used to settle hospital bills.
“The monies raised through the fund will be used to assist victims of both tragedies by way of settlement of bills, especially for patients requiring long term hospitalisation and medical care; related humanitarian assistance and further treatment where necessary,” he pledged.
The Head of State announced that local businessman Naushad Merali would be the Chairman of the Fund.
He also said that there would be a major fund raising and prayer service next Tuesday at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.
President Kibaki appealed to Kenyans to make their contributions generously to assist those affected, noting that more than 140 Kenyans had died, while 123 others had been hospitalised as a result of the two infernos.
“I appeal particularly to all leaders, public service, the business community and members of the civil society to come forward and make contributions in solidarity with those who are suffering, following the two disasters coming so close together,” he urged.
The President further said that the account details for placing the deposits will be released soon.
The Head of State also used the opportunity to defend Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti, following sentiments against him made by First Lady Lucy Kibaki on Monday.
He said he had confidence in Mr Saitoti and assured that the Minister was working according to the President’s expectations.
“In view of the reports which have appeared in today’s media, I wish to assure my Minister for Security, Honourable George Saitoti, that I have full confidence in him and that I appreciate the good work he is doing in my office,” he said.
On Monday, the First Lady had said; “I was angry with Minister (George) Saitoti (Internal Security) yesterday when I saw him on TV. All he had to say was ‘I hope this tragedy will teach you a lesson’.”
“How can dead people be taught a lesson, they are already dead! I reply to him, we will learn when you come to us and give us civic education,” she had said, accusing the Minister of failing to take measures to prevent the fires from taking place.