On Sunday, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Director of Programmes and Operations Mr. Ayaz Manji defended the use of funds collected in the 2011 campaign dubbed ‘Kenyans for Kenya’.
Mr. Manji made weak submissions before millions of Kenyans who are already tired of bad governance, scammers and pastorpreneurs.
He stated that the society had done a number of projects to ‘improve’ livelihoods of affected communities using the Kshs. 1 billion collected, which he said was not enough as some projects stalled.
What Mr. Manji didn’t take into account is that their hired Public Relations Expert, Ms. Gina-Din Kariuki, had already told the public that the monies were used in a ‘different way’.
“If you still have questions around Kenyans for Kenya, ask us. We have all the numbers. Kenyans always come through in times of disaster, I believe this time Kenyans will also come through,” Gina-Din said during the launch of the new fundraising campaign ‘Support A Family’ aka ‘Embrace A Family’.
Gina-Din went on to claim that the 1Billion shillings collected was spent thus: (700M was in cash and 300M was in kind – services provided for free for KRCS). 350M of the 700M collected was split for food and health intervention. The rest was for mid to long term projects functional to date.
Mr. Ayaz just opened the pandoras box since Kenyans have now put the said KRCS projects under scrutiny.
Ayaz said that part of the monies collected was used to put up Chesirimion Dam irrigation project in Baringo County at a cost of Kshs. 117 million. This project stalled. The irrigation part of it was never done. Aziz stated clearly that the money was enough.
The society blames a local contractor, building the Loruk-Marigat road, for blocking two rivers that would have channeled water to the dam.
The problem is that the Chesirimion Dam irrigation project is marked as COMPLETE by KRCS. This is 7 years later.
In fact the video shows a project site that looks like a nuclear disaster site.
Resistance to the new fundraising initiative
On Thursday, Kenyans online aired their protest for the fundraisers.
On twitter the hashtag #RedCrossTumechoka trended for hours with many stating that they cannot be part of fundraising for initiatives where money are not accounted for.
The National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale also joined in the fray.
Duale wants the Kenya Red Cross to account for billions of shillings Kenyans raised during the previous drought appeal.
He said Kenya Red Cross like any institution must be accountable to the people of Kenya and tell them how the money raised in the Kenyans for Kenya initiative in 2011 was utilized.
Duale took issue with the Kenya Red Cross Society, for seeking financial assistance from Kenyans for drought victims before accounting for billions contributed during the previous appeal.
The majority leader accused Red Cross of using the situation in the country to fleece Kenyans.
“No single cent will be contributed before accountability,” said Duale.
Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok and other leaders from the region opposed a funds drive over drought.
Speaking in Turkana South while marking world water day, the leaders termed those making funds appeals as drought terrorists and drought businessmen.
Other stalled projects
With the amount of money collected, one would expect that KRCS does a good feasibility study before embarking on projects.
This raises eyebrows that the KRCS management knows what it it doing.
Question: What is it doing?
Answer: Stealing funds through stalled projects.
According to reports, other projects initiated by the society have also stalled include, Tot-Kolowa irrigation scheme (Kshs. 100 million). Other projects found in Walda, Dertu, Kulan and Damajale with millions of donor money sunk down the drain.
Where did the money go?
In 2012, during an interview with a local Tv station. Abbas Gullet, the KRCS Secretary General stated that he has finally achieved his dreams of becoming a ‘doctor’ and an hotelier in some way.
This is a year after the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ fundraiser.
It is open knowledge that the Kenya Red Cross Society owns the Boma Inn Hotel located in South C, Nairobi.
Red Cross is also said to have acquired Heritage Insurance and Switch TV to boot.
Abbas is also accused of nepotism and tribalism as the finance manager and head of emergencies, Mr Abdulaziz Mirza and Mahdi Mohammed are his brother in law and tribe mates respectively.
This scandal is only unfolding, seven years later.
- If the dam project stalled because of lack of funds or because some contractor has blocked the water inlets, why didn’t KRCS raise this with the relevant authorities?
- Why did KRCS declare a stalled project complete?
- Why wasn’t there a feasibility study and correct budgeting for the construction of the dam?
We shall keep updating you about more stalled projects done by Kenya Red Cross Society.