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How ethnic bashing almost stopped Baby Pendo’s fundraiser

A noble initiative to raise funds towards the medical bill and funeral expenses for  a six-month old baby who died due to police brutality in Kisumu was on Thursday almost scuttled by tribal bigots.

The initiative, organised by popular online fundraiser Ndungu Nyoro, brought to the fore negative ethnicity that have characterised politics in post-colonial Kenya.

Mr Nyoro had on Wednesday shared online details on how Kenyans can donate to help the family of Samantha Pendo, also known as Baby Pendo, offset the bills.

But his generous spirit was quickly bashed on account of his ethnicity. Many accused him of being a Jubilee Party supporter with no moral authority to organise the funds drive because Baby Pendo died from head injuries inflicted to her by the police.

By Thursday morning, despite raising Sh70, 000, Mr Nyoro could not take it any more. He announced that he was suspending the funds drive after receiving hate messages.

NEGATIVE ENERGY

“Nevertheless, there has been too much negative energy that threaten to interfere with the same objective. I have been silently reading comments and I can tell we are far from the cohesive nation that would be ideal for such initiatives.

“For the sake of our love for one another and desire for peace, I have this morning chosen to halt fundraising on this platform. I will request M-CHANGA to later in the day pass the kitty to BABA PENDO either through MPESA or sending the cash directly to the hospital,” Nyoro wrote on his Fcebook page.

His post was met with varied reactions as some users urged him to ignore his detractors and continue with funds drive for the sake of the baby’s parents.

State House Digital Director Dennis Itumbi urged Mr Nyoro to ignore those spewing hate messages and allow willing Kenyans to use the M-Changa online platform to donate.

He wrote” “Ndungu Nyoro, let us continue. Put up the request continuously and ignore comments. Just look at M-Changa balance and keep updating. We must be able to do that which is good without looking over our shoulders.”

The family spokesman Amos Pambo said the fundraiser “had been stopped after ethnic bashing from other people who are not part of the family. The family will receive whatever is raised.”

FATHER DISAPPOINTED

Baby Pendo’s father Joseph Abanja told Nairobi News on phone that he was disappointed at how some Kenyans spewed hatred.  He called for unity of purpose and urged those who can assist to help out.

“We are all Kenyans, we all go through the same things and my pain is equal to any other parent’s pain irrespective of their tribe. Pendo means love, let us love each other irrespective of our tribes.”

“It hurts when people fight over my daughter’s death. We need all the help we can get to clear the bill and bury my daughter,” said Abanja.

Well-wishers can either use M-Changa registered paybill number 891300 or the family’s paybil 946688 or send donations via Abanja’s M-Pesa number 0721712023.

On Thursday, post mortem revealed that Baby Pendo’s death was caused by severe head injuries.