A file photo of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Rwanda’s First Lady Jeannette Kagame and DP Ruto’s wife Rachel after completing the Beyond Zero marathon in 2016. /PSCU
KOT welcome cancellation of Beyond Zero marathon
Kenyans on Twitter have welcomed Margaret Kenyatta’s decision to call off the First Lady Half Marathon.
The First Lady announced that this year’s event would not be taking place to avoid “politicising the agenda”.
Margaret said in a statement that she reached the decision to avoid conflicting the ongoing campaigns with her cause to end maternal and child mortality across the country.
More on this: First Lady cancels Beyond Zero marathon over politics
She said the marathon will continue next year and thanked Kenyan and other well wishers who have in previous years joined the project.
Read: [MEDIA] Elite runners expected at Sunday’s First Lady Half Marathon
“We have done more together than I imagined possible. We have run marathons and raised enough money to purchase 47 fully equipped mobile clinics delivered to every single County in Kenya,” the statement continued.
Twitter had been abuzz with the #BeyondZeroBoycott hashtag as many criticised the First Lady for holding the marathon amid the health crisis.
Many interpreted the cancellation as a show of power of social media activism.
Wandia Njoya tweeted: “#BeyondZero I praise all the ordinary Kenyans who used 140 characters to speak out about the marathon, and got told they’re haters.”
Magunga said, “… never ever tell me social media activism is useless. #BeyondZero.”
But others criticised the First Lady’s statement for failing to address the doctor’s strike, now in its 62nd day.
“No enlightened Kenyan would run the #BeyondZero marathon. The whole stunt is a mockery to our public healthcare sytem! #BoycottBeyondZero,” Elijah Tei Matolo said.
The Northerner asked, “Has the @FirstLadyKenya and her Zero thing ever read #MyBadDoctorExperience? If she did she’d run for the doctors.”
In her statement, the First Lady said she has been looking forward to running yet another marathon – a Gratitude Marathon.
“However, I have never been willing to politicise this agenda. As a consequence I feel it necessary to cancel the First Lady’s Half Marathon this year.”
Source: The Star