Duale lashes out at Kenya Red Cross over Ksh.824M donation appeal
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale on Sunday lashed out the Kenya Red Cross for appealing to Kenyans for funds to mitigate the current drought whereas they did not account for billions they raised during the previous droughts.
Speaking at Garissa Teachers College during the 20th graduation ceremony, Duale said that no Kenyan will contribute towards the kitty.
The Kenya Red Cross on Thursday last week appealed for Ksh.824,554,720 (about $8.2 million) in funds to help provide humanitarian assistance to 1.1 million people it says are affected by the ongoing drought situation in the country.
Secretary-General Abbas Gullet in a presser singled out Turkana, Wajir and Baringo counties as the most affected.
Although media reports indicate scores have already died of starvation, the government has however denied any deaths and pledged to do all it can to ensure no one dies of lack of food.
The situation in the affected areas has been worsened by long-delayed rains which affected crop produce. Various agencies have been appealing for help and making donations to those affected by the drought.
Duale said the Kenya Red Cross is taking advantage of the current drought to fleece Kenyans yet again.
“My friend Abbas Gullet should abandon the M-Pesa pay bill for Kenyans to raise funds. In the last drought we raised billions of shillings and to date he has not explained to Kenyans how the funds were used,” Duale said.
“Whenever he (Gullet) sees that there is a drought he calls for a press conference in one of the big hotels in the city to give out M-Pesa bill,” he added.
Duale claimed that the national government gave the Kenya Red Cross Ksh.1 billion to construct houses for flood victims in Budalangi, Tana River, Garissa and Meru during last year’s floods but to date no single structure has been built.
He urged the government to investigate the Ksh.1 billion given to the Kenya Red Cross adding that this time round Kenyan’s will not contribute towards the kitty.
The majority leader accused some top officials heading aid agencies of taking advantage of Kenyans’ predicament during drought and floods to enrich themselves.
Duale also took issue with the county governments of Turkana, Baringo, Wajir, Tana River, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit for doing little to mitigate on the current drought.
He said the counties are among the highest recipient of national government funds with Turkana leading with Ksh.11 billion annually but have nothing to show for it.
“In as much as we want to blame the national government for allegedly doing little to mitigate ion the current drought, the county governments will also take the blame for not allocating enough funds to mitigate on the drought,” he said.