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Murang’a medical camps: Is Kang’ata playing politics?

Tuesday December 18 2018

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang’ata

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang’ata speaks during Jamhuri Day celebrations in Murang'a on December 12, 2018. He has defended the medical camps he has been conducting in the county saying he cannot watch helplessly as patients suffer. PHOTO | NDUNG'U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A section of Murang’a County residents have accused Senator Irungu Kang’ata of failing in his oversight role on health and introducing a parallel health system.

This follows various medical camps in the county that the senator has initiated in the recent past.

While the senator feels that the medical camps are needed in Murang’a, some locals want him to instead prioritise on demanding answers from the county government on why the hospitals in the region have no medicine instead of introducing a medical system which they feel will not be sustained for long.


Led by Kamau Waithira, the locals have said that the medical camps cannot meet the health demands of the people of Murang’a and they are conducted by philanthropists who seek to compliment the national and county governments and as a way of giving back to the society.

“We feel the senator is just playing 2022 politics with the medical camps because he should be asking tough questions on the deteriorating health [services] in the county where nurses are not paid on time and there is no medicine,” Mr Waithira said.

He told the Nation that either Mr Kang’ata could be fearing Governor Mwangi Wa Iria or subscribes to his ideology hence he cannot question him.

Alternatively, Mr Kang’ata probably does not understand his duties as the Murang’a senator, Mr Waithira added.

His sentiments were echoed by another resided, Wanjiru Njoroge, who said that while medical camps are good, Murang’a residents cannot always depend on them for treatment.


“We are not saying that the medical camps should not be there, but if he can assume his oversight roles and conduct the medical camps, well and good. But he can’t purport to introduce the camps to justify lack of medicine in hospitals,” she said.

The residents want the senator to agitate on their behalf issues on the National Hospital Insurance Fund cards, saying they are only catering for minor ailments leaving them to cater for bills for major diseases.


But another resident, John Kamau, supported the senator's medical camps saying they are the only hope for most people in Murang'a.

He said the senator, through the camps, has helped many locals, especially those with terminal ailments.

"These camps are conducted at the grassroots where most patients are and they are the hope of many since they come along with free medicine," Mr Kamau said.

Responding to the locals’ sentiments, Senator Kang’ata refuted the claims that he has failed in his roles, saying that he has been demanding for medicine from the county government.

The senator was quick to defend the medical camps that he has been running.


"Whenever I hold the camps, I always demand that the county government improves its services. But if they ignore me, should I just watch and stand helpless or mobilise resources from my friends to help the electorate? the senator posed.

He told the Nation that it would be wrong for him to make noise and continue staying in Nairobi while the poor patients of Murang’a County continue to suffer.

"Voters these days prefer leaders who act and not just talk. It would be suicidal if I stay in Nairobi and just make noise instead of being proactive. Again, the (medical) camps are also assisting me to reach the poor "Wanjiku" in the rural areas and hence stay connected with the poor," he said, adding that he will continue conducting the camps despite opposition from a “simple minority”.

He said he started holding the camps when he was a ward councillor and will continue even after he retires from politics.