Wajir residents confront governor for donating what they claim is expired relief food
Jacob Onyango|May. 12, 2019
The residents of Wajir county have accused their governor, Mohammed Abdi, of feeding them with expired relief food even as hunger continues to bite in the poverty-stricken region.
They sensationally claimed the county government led by Abdi was forcing them to consume rice and cooking fat that expired in February 2019.
The poor residents staged angry protests for the better part of Saturday, May 11, during which they burnt a truck carrying relief food, barricaded road with large pieces of rocks and burning tyres and even attempted to attack the governor's vehicle, prompting the police to swing into action.
Besides donation of expired relief food, the residents also accused their governor of being biased in his leadership.
"Yeye ni governor wa watu yote alafu yeye analalia pande moja, sisi tunapinga yeye...analazimisha sisi kukula hiyo chakula, hatutaki! (He is a governor of all people (in Wajir), but he is taking sides...he is also forcing us to eat that food, we will not!" Abdi Dale, a resident of Wajir, protested as quoted by Citizen TV.
"They (county government officials) brought food then moments later chaos erupted. I came with my bike and saw the fight going on, and when I got closer, a police officer shot me," Abubakar Ismail, one of the victims, recounted.
A section of local leaders accused the police of using excessive force including firing live bullets to disperse the protesters, allegations the police have since denied.
Wajir, a county in the north eastern Kenya, is one of the regions that were hardest hit by food scarcity following prolonged drought.
The drought situation was serious among the predominantly nomadic Kenyans, some of whom were forced to survive on wild and poisonous fruits collected from scattered shrubs and bushes.
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