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Esther Passaris angered by ‘disaster celebrities’ tag

By Hilary Kimuyu September 24th, 2019 3 min read

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has come out guns blazing after a TV report labelled her and two other politicians as “disaster celebrities”.

During the prime time news on Monday, Citizen TV analysed several politicians who show up whenever disasters happen and start blame-games, yet they do little to avert the tragedies.

“DISASTER CELEBRITIES; How politicians, public figures cash in on disasters. Kiarie: This area has no public schools due to land grabbing. Omanga: We blame the gov’t for not taking care of schools. Passaris: During campaigns we promised to put up a school here,” read a tweet by Citizen TV.

But Passaris sought to distance herself from the media house’s tag, saying that she organized for water, soft drinks, bread and milk for the first responders.

“Really? I was there, assessed the situation, organised for water, soft drinks, bread and milk,” she said.


KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua also defended the leaders saying they were within their mandate.

“To suggest that it was a photo opportunity for the leaders is crass. What were they supposed to do? Keep off? What has become of our media? While the issue of reactive instead of preventive measures may be valid, bringing it at this time is as unprofessional as it is heartless,” he said on Facebook.

Passaris was among a number of politicians who showed up at the Precious Talent School after a classroom collapsed in Dagoretti constituency killing seven children and leaving 64 others with serious injuries on Monday.

Social media was abuzz with many users wondering why leaders only come up with suggestions after accidents have happened.

One Twitter user put Passaris to task by asking, “It is just ironical how you leaders come up with ideas after such horrific situations. Why wait till we shed tears?”

The legislator responded by saying she was always ready to help but at times lacks resources to cater for the never ending needs.

“Such is life. Calamities are change agents in human and humane beings. Ask yourself. Why didn’t I cry before? Because it wasn’t in your face. I cry every night with or without tears because of the never ending needs that I cannot help no matter my desire in the short run,” said the women rep.

She added that she was on sick leave but had to show up immediately she learnt of the disaster.

On her part, Senator Millicent Omanga sent her condolences and criticised the government for sleeping on the job.


“Very sad to lose young souls thirsty for education because our agencies from buildings approvals are asleep. Precious talent school tragedy was avoidable but some people are sleeping on the job. Quick recovery to the injured kids and my heartfelt condolences to those who lost kids,” she tweeted.

Area Member of Parliament John Kiarie was also not spared with at least one tweep wondered if he was at the scene just for some public relations work.

“Thank you mheshimiwa for coming to do your PR stunt for political mileage….unfortunately you left immediately and missed the developing stories and responsibilities…..oh, I forgot, you were not here to help or develop,” said one Nic Mburu.

He simply replied, “We are still on site.”