NYERI, Kenya, April 9 – Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has come under heavy criticism from residents and politicians in the county over his move to label a donation of sanitizers from a sugar company with his portrait .
Many of the residents and political leaders accused Kahiga of making political capital out of a donation from Kibos Sugar Company at the time when county is battling COVID-19, a pandemic that has so far claimed seven lives in the country.
“It’s wrong for our governor to imply through labeling the donation with his portrait that what the residents are using comes from him directly yet we all know that it’s a donation from a well-wisher,” said a social media user who asked: “Why politick during hard times?”
Others said that the money used in purchasing labels and branding repackaged bottles should have been used to purchase more sanitizers, personal protective equipment for medical personnel or at least be used in purchasing food for the needy members of the community in informal sectors.
However speaking on Thursday when he handed part of the donation to Nyeri Town lawmaker Wambugu Ngunjiri for distribution in his constituency, Kahiga dismissed critics saying minimal resources were used to repackage and brand the donated sanitizers.
He claimed the amount used per bottle did not exceed Sh3.
“It’s the high time we stop petty issues,” he said. “I will be able, this way, to distribute 50,000 litres of sanitizer in 6ml bottles and further 15,000 liters in 500 ml bottles.”
“Why I put my portrait is due to the fact that we had intelligence that some people wanted to resell the sanitizers once we release them,” said Kahiga.
He said the initiative was a joint venture between the county government and the sugar company.
Ngunjiri concurred with the governor saying that the initiative by the governor is laudable.
The sanitizer together with face masks will be distributed free of charge to residents in all thirty wards in efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus Kenya having by Thursday, April 9 reported a total of 184 cases.