President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended the government’s move to send over 300 bouquets of flowers to United Kingdom (UK) in a show of solidarity with health workers in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak.
Kenyans on social media had expressed their concerns accusing the Head of State of ignoring the welfare of local health practitioners while trying hard to impress colonial masters.
But in his Labour day address from State House, Nairobi, on Friday, the President laughed off the claims calling on Kenyans to look at the bigger picture, economic growth.
The President said the government had good intentions and only wanted to “market” its Horticulture sector that employs thousands of Kenyans.
“When we sent the flowers, I laughed when I saw a section of Kenyans calling us names. Our only intention was to show the world our product and when the Coronavirus pandemic dust settles we can do business, ” President Kenyatta said.
“Think before you start talking nonsense on this social media of yours. We must protect our economy we must look into the future. We must look at what to do when we survive. This is not the time for us to be petty. This is not the time for us as Kenyans to be cheap. This is the team to come together and work together.”
The consignment of flowers was flown late last month to the UK by the national carrier Kenya Airways.
Each of the flowers delivered to health workers in the UK had an inscribed message from President Kenyatta, “Whatever the adversity, no matter the foe, we shall triumph together.”
“To bring cheer and express solidarity with frontline National Health Service (NHS) workers in the fight against Covid-19 in key partner UK, Kenya’s private sector has delivered 200 bouquets of flowers to Great Ormond Street Hospital and hospitals in Manchester and Salford, ” Kenya’s ambassador to UK Manoah Esipisu tweeted.
The initiative stems from a committee set up by President Kenyatta and chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi. It brought together the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya Airways and the Kenya Flower Council.
KEPSA members including Elgon Kenya Limited, Flamingo Flowers Limited and others are also in the committee.
Addressing claims of misuse of funds set aside to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, the President said all the monies will be accounted for. He called on Kenyans to stop politicizing the fight against COVID-19.
“Let us stop politicizing this coronavirus.. all the money that has been spent during this time shall be audited in broad daylight. ..so that Kenyans will be able to know how the money worked,” the President expressed his disgust over social media reports linked the ministry of health in improper use of Ksh1 billion donated by World Bank