Victims of poisonous relief food at Gikambura, Kikuyu speak out: PHOTOS

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 25 May, 2020 14:58 | 3 mins read
Kikuyu Constituency
Several people who received the poisonous foodstuffs surrendered them at the Gikambura chief's office on Monday, May 25, 2020. PHOTO | CLEMENT KAMAU
Several people who received the poisonous foodstuffs surrendered them at the Gikambura chief's office on Monday, May 25, 2020. PHOTO | CLEMENT KAMAU

By Clement Kamau

About 20 people fell sick after consuming poisonous foodstuffs distributed by unknown people at Gikambura shopping centre in Kikuyu Sub-County, Kiambu County.

The victims complained of stomach upsets, swollen tongues and sore throat and were treated and discharged at Rose Gate and Gikambura health centers.

According to eyewitnesses, the foodstuff included sugar, cooking oil, maize flour and green grams, products dished out by three men and a woman.

The four suspects, eyewitnesses said, were driving a Toyota LandCruiser whose number plates were concealed.

Ms. Sylvia Wanjiru, one of the recipients of the poisonous foodstuffs, at the Gikambura chief's office shortly after surrendering the donation to the government for investigations on May 25, 2020. PHOTO | CLEMENT KAMAU

A victim, Mr. Paul Kang'ethe, said that the white vehicle had a Red Cross crescent inscribed on it.

'They were driving very fast as they threw foodstuffs packed in paper bags which bore the inscription 'Kikuyu Constituency, Together We Shall Overcome. Stay Safe: William Ruto Foundation and Kimani Ichungw'a.'

Other paper bags had similar writings but with Dagoretti MP's name John Kiarie branded on them.

Some of the poisonous foodstuffs given to Kikuyu Constituency residents over the weekend. PHOTO | COURTESY

Ms. Esther Wambuku, another victim, said that she and her family experienced stomach upsets and vomiting after consuming rice and tea made with the sugar before her tongue started swelling.

"We could not go to the hospital because of the ongoing curfew but we were advised to take a lot of water and the problem eased. We went to the hospital this morning and we were given medicine," she said.

They said that they accepted the food because they thought that the distribution was a continuation of a similar process that had taken place during the day by the area MP Kimani Ichungw'a at the local PCEA church.

Karai MCA, Mr. Samuel Mugwanja, condemned the incident and urged the police to leave no stone unturned until the culprits are apprehended.

He urged locals to desist from accepting free food from unknown people, adding that the government has laid down proper strategies of distributing relief food to the vulnerable members of society.

Kikuyu Assistant County Commissioner, Mr. Charles Korir, said that investigations have been launched to establish who distributed the poisonous foodstuffs.

He said that samples of the foodstuffs were collected and taken to government chemists to establish the poison in the products.

Kikuyu MP termed the incident as evil, saying that the move is a well-calculated scheme to sabotage Deputy President's food donation program.

"If you want to fight Ruto, go and fight him directly. If they want to fight Ichungw'a, let them come and fight me," he said.

He challenged the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti to arrest the culprits responsible and bring them to justice.

He said that he would not be intimated by anyone because of his political inclinations.

"I won't be intimated and I am ready to die for my cause," said Mr. Ichung'wah, saying that the same vehicle behind the poisonous foodstuffs had been seen Starehe and Dagoretti constituencies.

He said that the foodstuffs given by the DP were well packed and from recognized manufacturers unlike those distributed at Gikambura which were appeared to have been hurriedly packed in small quantities.