Arrest criminals behind toxic food in Kiambu

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto (left) donates relief food to less-fortunate.

Reports that more than 20 people in Kiambu county were on Sunday rushed to hospitals after consuming toxic food distributed by unidentified individuals are not only shocking but criminal.

And what makes this cruelty with the lives of citizens suffering the ravages of Covid-19 worse is that the masterminds were trying to score political points. 

The incident came after Deputy President William Ruto and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa had distributed food to the residents last weekend. 

Obviously, whoever contrived the evil act was playing on the political divisions in the ruling Jubilee.

That is why we ask the State security agencies to expeditiously investigate the matter and bring to book the twisted minds behind this macabre crime. 

It should be treated as attempted mass murder. Directorate of Criminal Investigations head George Kinoti has already dispatched officers to investigate the matter.

It was disheartening, however, to see government officials appear to jump to conclusions that the food was part of  donations delivered by the Ruto team. 

Tales of the toxic food victims point to a well-executed plan, but those behind the crime left critical leads such as the vehicle that can help the police nail them.

While there is great need for food by thousands of Kenyans hit by government measures, including business shutdowns and curfew, it is important that the government streamlines efforts by those willing to extend a helping hand. 

Wananchi, for their part, have a duty to be on the lookout for individuals out to exploit their plight for selfish gain, especially political.

But the rush by residents for the food, whose source and safety was clearly unknown, points to the food shortages many families are grappling with because of Corona. Though the government has responded with cash transfers to vulnerable and needy households, more needs to be done to cushion the affected.

For instance, a recent survey by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicated that  close to 30 per cent of  workers, who  were forced off work by Corona, were unable to pay rent on time last month. 

 It is an unprecedented time in our country— and we all need to focus on defeating the pandemic and its impact by eschewing sideshows and other shenanigans.

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