The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has dismissed as fake a press statement circulating on social media purporting to give details of the recently harmful relief food distributed in Kikuyu, Kiambu County.
At least 12 people were reportedly taken ill and hospitalised after consuming the food that was distributed in Gikambura on Sunday.
The items which included maize, flour and sugar were packaged in bags branded “William Ruto Foundation and Kimani Ichung’wa”.
The statement which surfaced online on Tuesday evening and shared widely detailed that samples taken from the donated food in Gikambura area showed that the maize flour contained aflatoxin substance.
The statement also indicated that the samples contain a pesticide “Dicamba”, a chemical’ the individuals behind the statement claimed affects fertility in females.
“The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) wishes to inform the public that the Press Statement on the Gikambura Kikuyu relief food incident is fake, ” said KEBS in a tweet on Wednesday.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) wishes to inform the public
that the Press Statement on the Gikambura Kikuyu relief food incident is fake. pic.twitter.com/WbTexYjfIc
— KEBS KENYA (@KEBS_ke) May 27, 2020
Deputy President William Ruto on Monday distanced himself from the distribution after critics accused him of donating harmful food to residents.
Ruto, in a statement through his Communications Secretary David Mugonyi, said political opponents were out to soil his name by harming residents.
Terming the distribution of the harmful food using his name as “political thuggery”, the DP said his foundation only delivers relief packages through churches, mosques and with the participation of local leaders.
“Reports from locals indicate that the strange food donations in question were hurriedly thrown from moving vehicles to unsuspecting public with fake branding, that is not from the Foundation,” the statement read in part.
“The William Ruto Foundation has been donating food in Nairobi and its environs for months now without any incident. It is clear those behind the distribution of the contaminated food are engaging in political thuggery for other reasons.”
The DP said it’s evil for his foes to endanger lives of Kenyans while trying to stop him politically.
“It is revolting, despicable, callous and cruel to play with the health and lives of innocent human beings to score political points. Human life and dignity are higher than any political agenda. Those behind this incident are irresponsible, barbaric savages who have no place in civilized society,” he said.