Magufuli’s gov’t donates relief food to neighboring countries as Kenya continues to deny drought deaths

Kenya is losing its position as a regional powerhouse

Magufuli’s gov’t donates relief food to neighboring countries as Kenya continues to deny drought deaths

Kenya has for long prided itself as the Eastern African’s regional powerhouse but the situation is fast changing – largely because of corruption and incompetence on the country’s leadership.

Tanzania, under the leadership of President John Pombe Magufuli, appears to be overshadowing Kenya as the region’s big boy.

A news item on Wednesday is perhaps another pointer of the fast-changing status of Tanzania.

Cyclone in Mozambique

President Magufuli’s Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs, Palamagamba Kabudi announced that Tanzania would dispatch a total of 24 tonnes of medicine, 17 tonnes of rice and 200 tonnes of maize to help thousands of people displaced by flash floods in the neighboring countries of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.

More than a 1000 people are feared to have died in a cyclone that smashed into Mozambique last week.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has since sent a message of solidarity to heads of state of the affected countries, but has not announced material help in the manner that his Tanzania counterpart has done.

I condole and pass my message of encouragement to the people of Southern Africa who are suffering devastation from Cyclone Idai. To my friends Presidents @FNyusi, @edmnangagwa & Peter Mutharika, Kenya stands with you and your people as you mourn and recover from the destruction,” Kenyatta tweeted on Wednesday.

This news came as Kenya is battling a drought crisis managed through knee-jerk reactions, intimidation of government officials, and outright denial of lives lost through hunger.

At least six people are feared dead in Baringo and West Pokot counties in alleged cases of extreme hunger.

Kositei Chief Fired

A chief in Kositei area of Baringo County, Jackson Ronei, who reported that four people had died in his location has been disowned by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i who denied any death, adding that the Chief had “long been fired”.

Deputy President William Ruto has since announced that action would be taken against the chiefs who claimed to have recorded deaths in their area.

West Pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo on Wednesday told the media that two people in his county had died out of hunger.

Ethiopia, with the ongoing political reforms under the leadership of the young Mohamed Abey will continue to cement its power status after they overtook Kenya as the region’s economic powerhouse in 2017.

Rwanda, despite its small economy, has made tremendous growth in its economy – reforms in the civil service has made it one of the highest-ranked African countries in the ease of doing business index – under the steady hand of President Paul Kagame. Kenyan leaders are even camping in Kigali to learn urban planning from a country that a few years ago was struggling with a genocide that left nearly a million people dead. 

If Kenya continues on this slippery paths, our neighbors in the region will talk of a great country that once existed.

Tony Mukere is a journalist and political commentator. His views do not necessarily represent the editorial voice of Pulse Live Kenya. 

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