A section of Kenyans have asked Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura to advise President William Ruto’s administration to reassess its priorities after he asked wellwishers to donate rent money for Embakasi gas explosion victims.
Others defended and supported the government mouthpiece after he urged Kenyans to donate cash to pay two months’ rent for victims, most of whom are hospitalised.
“The government is actively aiding nine single mothers along with their 21 children currently seeking shelter at the Kenya School of Aviation. Collaborations with the Kenya Red Cross and the Nairobi County government are dedicated to providing essential support including food and non-food items to those affected.
“It is also true to say that the Kenya Red Cross has the platform to provide for cash transfers for those whose houses have been destroyed in conjunction with NGAO. They will do serious mapping so that there can be provision of some rent for at least two months or thereabout. So we are calling upon those who can support this initiative through that platform to really join hands,” Mwaura stated.
Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, on Friday, February 2, urged Kenyans to donate cash to pay two months’ rent for victims of the Embakasi explosion.
He added that the county government of Nairobi will provide food, water, blankets and also other essentials going forward. The county also waivered the hospital bills for all victims.
In response, Kenyans online asked the government to halt some projects like the renovation of the State House, set to cost taxpayers a whopping Ksh795 million by June this year and redirect the fund to aid the victims.
Others pointed him towards sourcing funds from government contingency funds. With Ruto’s administration already facing criticism for its hiked taxes and other overburdening fiscal policies, more Kenyans urged Mwaura to use part of the revenue raised to address the Embakasi crisis.
“So we pay taxes to the government and when there are disasters we contribute? Use the taxes we pay. We will help our friends directly not through you,” a tweep lashed back.
President William Ruto was also asked to halt his foreign trips and channel the funds to an emergency fund drive.
Most tweeps concurred with the idea, stating that they were already donating blood for the victims voluntarily and others had set up shops where food items and other basic needs would be handed out.
Nonetheless, the majority of the comments centred around the heavy taxation, with most Kenyans questioning the use of the funds.
“We’ve already done through heavy taxation. Plus there are emergency funds. Be serious man!”Another comment read.
The wreckage of a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanker following an explosion at the Mradi area in Embakasi, Nairobi County on February 1, 2024.
“Do you ever wonder just where this govt gets its crazy ideas from? I would like to know for myself. Name me a country that, rather than step up to deal with a catastrophe, ‘encourages’ that wananchi ‘step up’ to help those in need. Next idea, it wants to set up a ‘diaspora savings plan’, as though there are no financial institutions. The govt is a confederacy of dunces,” an irked citizen commented.
“Do these people ever sit and think? We pay taxes. Where is the money that it can’t even do this? We have to change the way people in government are paid for their work. It’s too lucrative for people to maintain their senses,” N Maina stated.
Other Kenyans asked the government to redirect the collected housing levy taxes to assist the victims.
“Can he refund us what he took from our salaries in the name of house levy then we can think about your request, kwa kweli you people have no drop of shame in if you can request us to donate after that heavy taxing,” one Mueni complained.
“Why can’t they use this unfortunate event and reward the victims with the affordable house the government is parroting daily? If anything, it will be a good gesture since the formula for holding the same has been a nightmare,” G Odhiambo added.
However, another section supported Mwaura’s cause, rallying other Kenyans to contribute whatever little they had.
“At least the govt is caring. During the previous regime, you couldn’t hear of such a generous offer,” Hustler K responded.
“Not a bad idea though this one works in developed states…,” LM added.
Earlier, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris urged Kenyans to donate blood and support the victims.
Mwaura added that a psychosocial counselling centre has also been set up at the Total Petrol Station to offer free counselling to victims traumatised by the tragedy.
“Investigations to establish the cause of the fire are underway. The government calls on people of goodwill to support through the donation of blood and other items, in the spirit of brotherhood and Kenyan jingoism,” Mwaura supported Passaris’ call.
The aftermath of the Embakasi gas explosion that claimed three lives and injured over 220 others on Thursday night, February 1, 2024.