Uhuru's gift to UK patients & medics causes uproar in Kenya

Misplaced priority?

President Uhuru Kenyatta's gift to UK patients & medics causes uproar in Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to send solidarity gifts to patients and health workers in the United Kingdom has drawn wild condemnation from a section of Kenyans.

President Kenyatta's government partnered with private sector flower farmers to send 300 bouquets of flowers which left Kenya via a Kenya Airways flight on Friday evening.

Each bouquet contained a card with President Kenyatta's message - expressing solidarity with the British people where 153,000 cases have been recorded.

"There have been a few moments in history when the world has faced a crisis as far-reaching and consequential as this. It is exactly at moments such as this that we must display our humanity, perseverance and hope. Whatever the adversity, no matter the foe, we shall triumph together. We stand united. Tuko Pamoja. From Kenya with love," President Kenyatta's message read.

However, the message did not sit well with a section of Kenyans who questioned the decision to send flowers to foreigners while local health workers are struggling with lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

"President Uhuru Kenyatta sent 300 bouquets of flowers to BRITAIN to cheer up the sick..MAAJABU . who bewitched you our president. You are detached from reality, Jameson and JD doesnt do such..its witchcraft," one person complained on Twitter.

"President Uhuru Kenyatta can send flowers inscribed with his messages to UK but can't evacuate stuck Kenyans in China, can't give the same hopes to our doctors as a critical virologist is sacked amid a pandemic. The only hope we have is surviving police brutality Hatuna nchi sisi," Agot Bonface said.

"We are not managing the pandemic. We are public relationing our way through it. That’s why Mtu Pombe find time to send flowers and personalized message to British health workers, and scientists who still don’t have PPE fired for not meeting press conference schedules," economist David Ndii quipped.

President Kenyatta is also reported to have sent several bouquets of flowers to doctors at the Nairobi Hospital where some coronavirus patients are admitted.

A healthcare worker who spoke to Pulse Live Kenya said the President was giving the wrong message by sending flowers to doctors at the Nairobi Hospital, a private facility, while not reciprocating the gesture to health workers at Mbagathi and Kenyatta Hospitals - the two public hospitals with the bulk of the Covid19 patients.

The government's resolve in fighting the pandemic has in the last two days come scrutiny after it emerged that Health CS Mutahi Kagwe had fired a leading scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

Researchers told the publication that Dr Joel Lutomiah was dismissed for questioning the government’s commitment to supporting the financially starved research institute.

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