NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12- The government has outlawed uncoordinated direct distribution of food and non-food donations within communities across the country after chaos rocked Kibera slum in Nairobi.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi now says contributions and distributions of any kind will only be undertaken through Governors, County Commissioners or the Jane Karuku-led Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
“The Government has taken note of many initiatives by private individuals, associations and interest groups, organizing to mobilize financial resources, food and non-food items, and distributing these to vulnerable communities across the country. Whereas we applaud these noble, charitable and philanthropic efforts, they have inadvertently led to a breach of the social distancing guidelines as set out by the Ministry of Health, besides creating disorder,” he said.
This comes a day after a food distribution exercise in Kibera turned chaotic, leaving several people with injuries, while police were forced to use teargas to disperse the swelling crowd.
Matiangi said police will oversee any distribution of food and other materials to the vulnerable people, to not only ensure sanity prevails but transparency and accountability.
Health Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi had earlier warned politicians against taking advantage of donations to advance their agenda.
“I would like to caution everybody that this is not the time to engage in politics with donations that have been given by well-wishers or corporate entities,” she said.
This is the latest directive in a series of measures meant to curb the spread of the disease, that has claimed 7 lives in the country and infected 191 others. Globally, more than 100,000 people have succumbed to the virus, with infections well over 1.3 million.
The United State of America is the worst hit with more than 20,000 deaths.