Kenya, Rwanda First Ladies run half marathon to raise funds

Kenya's First Lady Margaret (C) and her Rwandan counterpart Jeanette Kagame (R) at Nyayo stadium in Nairobi Kenya.

Kenya’s First Lady Margaret (C) and her Rwandan counterpart Jeanette Kagame (R) at Nyayo stadium in Nairobi Kenya.

The First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame has joined her Kenyan counterpart Margret Kenyatta to run 10 km half-marathon race in support of the Beyond Zero initiative in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

the First Lady of Kenya flagged off the 3rd edition of the marathon that attracted 35,000 runners.
The First ladies were also joined by Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto and his wife Racheal Ruto and thousands of well-wishers at Nyayo stadium.

Mrs. Kenyatta completed the 100 meters sprint to end the race.

At the end of the event, Kenya’s First Lady thanked her Rwandan counterpart Jeanette Kagame and Kenyans for supporting the marathon. The marathon has been organized annually since 2013.

“Every single runner here is a champion…because of you Kenya is that much closer to finishing the race to zero preventable deaths and zero child and maternal deaths and zero HIV/Aids cases,” Mrs. Kenyatta said in her speech.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was out of the country for official duty but wished Kenyans a successful marathon.

“I have left the running to my lovely 1st lady. However, I have been flying occasionally. Congratulations my love, I just watched you cross the finish line on my online live stream. I am proud of you,” President Kenyatta said on his twitter account congratulating his wife.

Donations to First Lady Marathon hit Sh189 million mark. So far, the Beyond Zero Campaign has distributed 36 Mobile Clinics to 36 counties across Kenya.

The First Lady also plans to set up a state-of-the art hospital for women and children as the ultimate goal of the Beyond Zero campaign.

The race has however attracted criticism from some Kenyans demanding accountability of the funds raised and that the Kenyan government ought to focus much more on ridding itself of pandemic corruption.

“A corrupt nation cannot develop,” tweeted one Kenyan, Boniface Mwangi.

“Ask anyone supporting the BeyondZero to provide stats how it has worked vis-a-vis the wastage in Gov. They can’t support their arguments,” another concerned Kenyan said on Twitter.