September 20, 2020

Account for COVID-19 Graffiti, Activists Petition County Government

One of the graffitti images at Buxton area, Mombasa county. A section of human rights defenders want the county to account for the money spent in the project. Image: (Courtesy)

By The Coast Newspaper Team
Email: thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com
County government of Mombasa has been put to task to account for all the funds used in drawing graffiti images in various parts of the county.
Mombasa based social activist Lubna Nassir termed the program ‘meritless and insignificant’ to the public terming it an embezzlement of public funds.
She was addressing journalists in Mombasa on Monday.
 “We want the county government to tell us the amount used in drawing images of doctors and other images in strategic areas in this county. This is public funds and should be accounted for,” she noted.
According to the activist, the program is insignificant and wants the county government to concentrate more on social affairs including donating relief food to the less fortunate in society.
At the same time, Lubna claimed that most of the locals within the county have not benefited from the COVID-19 relief food donated through the county emergency response committee.

A slum area in Mombasa county.: Image (courtesy)

She also wants the county government to account for the relief food meant to cushion less fortunate families during the corona pandemic period.
“The food that is supposed to reach the less fortunate has not trickled to the targeted group. Is this food meant to reach only selected few?” Lubna quizzed.
The human rights defender also took issue with those quarantined at the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) claiming that the victims are going through a hard time.
She revealed that she had received phone calls from some of them on the plight facing them at the institution.
“There are distress calls from some of those kept in quarantine at TUM. They are calling for help as some spend most of their time without food supplies” she said.
The graffiti images on COVID-19 drawn by the county government have sparked a public debate arguing that Kenyans are informed about the corona virus.
Meanwhile, Abdalla Bilal an Old Town resident says the funds could otherwise be used to purchase face masks and sanitizers and issued for free to the public.
He also wants the county government to initiate a special kitty for the elderly and youths within the county.
“There are hundreds of the elderly and youths in Mombasa County who have no source of income. It is high time that the county prioritises on such people,” he noted.

Old Town ward in Mombasa county. Image: (Courtesy)

At the same time, Newton Odongo from Junda, Kisauni Sub County alleged that the county government has not been transparent in the distribution  of theOVID 19 Relief food targeting the less fortunate.
Odongo claimed that hundreds of people have resorted to taking a single meal a day due to the ‘stay at home order and the partial lockdown’ imposed by government.
“It is discouraging to see that some of us go without meals. Times are so tough that we cannot afford some of the basic commodities such as maize flour,” he added.
The Kisauni resident lamented  that the graffiti images was not important as they were not putting any food on their tables

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