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Legislators vow to boycott Mashujaa day celebrations over Likoni tragedy

A section of women legislators have threatened to camp at Likoni ferry during Mashujaa Day celebrations if bodies of a mother and daughter who drowned in Indian Ocean will not have been retrieved.
The leaders allied to Inua Mama Faction on Friday accused the government for taking long to retrieve bodies of Miriam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu days after their car plunged into the ocean.
Led by Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Nakuru Women Representative Susan Kihika and Kandara MP Alice Wahome, the lawmakers said the departments involved are not committed to retrieve the bodies, terming the incident a shame to the whole nation.
Jumwa, speaking at Kandara and Maragua Constituencies where the group donated equipment to various women groups said Mashuja Day celebrations should be halted to give the country chance to mourn the mother and her daughter.
She said it will be embarrassing for a national celebration to be held at Mombasa, as the county mourns the demise of the two Kenyans.
“If the bodies will not have been retrieved, I will lead women from all corners of the nation at Likoni ferry during Mashujaa day to mourn the death of mother and her daughter.
Jumwa asked the President to sack officials of Kenya Ferry Services for failing to put in place measures to protect lives of people using their services.
“Mr. President, fly to Mombasa and sack those in charge of Coast Guard and Kenya Ferry Services for their ineffectiveness,” she added.
The government was accused by leaders who stood to address various groups of women for lacking a disaster response unit, with many lives having been lost for lack of experts to turn to during times of disaster.
Kihika noted that in 2017 she lost two of her members of staff at Lake Nakuru when helicopter they were flying in plunged in to the lake.
Bodies of the two victims, the legislator noted up to now have never been retrieved, a move that subjected their relatives to agony for life.
She hit at Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho for having done nothing, despite their dockets being responsible to in addressing disasters.
“It’s shameful that we have not done efforts to address systems to retrieve bodies. My two crews have not been traced up to date,” said Kihika.
Meanwhile, the leaders, majority of whom were drawn from Rift Valley and Mt. Kenya regions castigated Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya for having failed to assist tea farmers get better payment.
The leaders argued that the long chain involved in marketing tea have led to poor returns to farmers who incur a lot of cost in keeping the managing crop.
They said tea auctioning in Mombasa should be abolished and buying centres be established in every county that grows tea.
Kericho women representative Florence Bore said there was need to establish buying units at the factory level.
“This business of transporting our tea to Mombasa is outdated and transactions should be done at the factories,” said Bore.
Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro who also attended the function said government should help tea and coffee farmers who are currently in high debts.
By Bernard Munyao

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