Last Sunday 6th of March saw the much anticipated Beyond Zero’s First Lady Half Marathon (FLHM) take place in Nairobi with a number of roads in the CBD closed.
It is an initiative by the First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenyatta formed In January 2014 to partner with the government in reducing maternal and child mortality by equipping every county with a mobile clinic.
Although many have lauded the First Lady for this initiative and for being so active in support close to her heart, there was a section of Kenyans online who were critical of the campaign, the initiative as well as the fact that the Ministry of Health (MOH), which had failed to provide this basis service to pregnant mothers, was one of the contributors to the Beyond Zero campaign which is a private initiative.
In essence, what is happening, many argued, is the privatization of solutions to public problems. The fact that MOH is run using Tax payers money raises concerns on what is now becoming acceptable- That Kenyans still need to fundraise for basis health care.
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) March 6, 2016
This is happening at a time when Kenyans wake to news of corruption and lost public funds every other day with the most recent cases involving National Youth Service (NYS) funds and the Euorobond still fresh in most minds.
— Nguru (@njooro) March 6, 2016
How many more marathons will Kenyans have to run to make up for stolen/misappropriated funds before real responsibility is taken#BeyondZero
— Schea Of Sheba (@scheafferoo) March 6, 2016
Question – how many government institutions have donated what is essentially your taxes to the First Lady’s marathon?
— Kizza Besigye (@roomthinker) March 6, 2016
Steal billions meant for health care borrow billions of eurobond then do PR by telling us to join beyond zero marathon NONSENCE
— Bernard agutu (@agutu_bernard) February 27, 2016
A cross sections of Kenyans Online were somewhat conflicted on this matter as this is the first time we are seeing an active President’s wife and one who is rallying behind a cause with such passion and commitment.
It’s possible to love Margaret Kenyatta’s passion for beyond zero while being critical of the circumstances that led us here.
— Brian K. (@Yenyewe) March 6, 2016
Kenya is yet to deal with rampant corruption that continues to affect the delivery of many basic services such as health even as the current Jubilee government and the current president Uhuru Kenyatta seeking a second term in office in the coming General Elections in 2017.