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President Uhuru Kenyatta has honoured KPC Managing Director Macharia Irungu with the Presidential Order of Service – Uzalendo Award for his role in the fight against the coronavirus.

The KPC boss is among 68 individuals who received National Honours during the 57th Madaraka Day celebrations for their contribution in the fight against Covid-19. During the virtual Madaraka Day celebrations at State House in Nairobi early this week, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the State would honour individuals for their exemplary contribution over the coronavirus period.

“To recognize and honour those Kenyans who have exhibited exemplary service, sacrifice, patriotism, heroism and high sense of civic duty in helping steer Kenya through the current Pandemic; and on behalf of an eternally grateful Nation, I have on this 1st Day of June, 2020 issued an Executive Order establishing a new National Award and State Commendation – THE PRESIDENTIAL ORDER OF SERVICE – UZALENDO AWARD. The names of the inaugural recipients of this high National Honour have been published in a Special Issue of the Kenya Gazette dedicated to them,” the President stated.

President Kenyatta evoked the spirit of patriotism calling on Kenyans to remain focused in the fight against the pandemic. The Head of State revisited the sentiments of Kenya’s founding fathers as he called for resilience in the fight against the scourge.

“We are further emboldened by the fact that, united in the struggle, we defeated a giant nation. And as we fight the coronavirus pandemic today, our victory over the colonizers should remind us that this too shall pass,” he said.

Following this development, KPC Board of Directors Chairperson John Ngumi congratulated Dr Irungu for being awarded this commendation. In a statement to all staff, Ngumi said that the award is in recognition for his exemplary work in leading KPC’s sanitisers and masks initiatives which have been instrumental in assisting many Kenyans cope with the health challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“KPC has coordinated the production and distribution of nearly one million litres of sanitisers which have been handed out free of charge to vulnerable Kenyans. KPC also paid KES 55 million to the National Youth Service to enable NYS produce one million masks for free distribution to vulnerable Kenyans who could not afford masks,” Ngumi said adding that the Uzalendo Award to Dr Irungu is a truly humbling experience

Accepting the award, Dr Irungu hailed the KPC staff who have gone the extra mile to ensure that the poor and vulnerable Kenyans out there are empowered to fight Covid-19.

“The KPC Covid-19 team deserve this honour and not just me as an individual. You made it happen with very little effort from me. I salute you all and God bless you,” he told his Covid-19 response team.
Also among the honours list were Njoki Kariuki, Chairperson Green Card Mtaani and Mary Muthoni, CEO Women in Business.The two organizations have been very instrumental in distributing the free government hand sanitisers to poor and vulnerable Kenyans across the country as the fight against Covid-19 moves to the counties.

Other notable names on the list comprising business executives, doctors and journalists include Chairperson of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Jane Karuku, Equity Bank chief executive James Mwangi who recently led his family in contributing KES 300 million to the Covid-19 kitty and Director-General for Health Patrick Amoth.

Nation Media Group health journalists Nasibo Kabale, Verah Okeyo and Angela Oketch, Standard Group’s Dr Mercy Korir and Royal Media Services managing director Wachira Waruru also made it to the President’s list.

The list also had Kenyatta National Hospital chief executive Evanson Kamuri and Maj-Gen Ayub Matiri, the Commanding Officer of the National Command Centre for Covid-19.

The National Honours Act 2013 provides four instances when a person merits the conferment of a national honour. It says that a person is eligible when he or she “has made an exemplary contribution to the country or a county in the economic, social, scientific, academic, public administration, governance, sports, journalism, business, security or other fields”, or “has otherwise brought honour, glory or pride to the Republic”.

The award lists are made by the President on advice of the National Honours and Awards Committee. The candidates are nominated for awards by district committees, government ministries, religious organisations, non-governmental organisations and individuals.

In March this year, KPC was mandated by President Uhuru Kenyatta to liaise with select oil industry firms and other private sector players to produce alcohol-based sanitisers on behalf of government for free distribution to the public throughout the country especially to the low-income and vulnerable groups and populous areas as one way of preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The process of producing these hand sanitizers is ongoing and so far, nearly one million litres of government hand sanitizers has been produced in various blending plants in Nairobi and Mombasa for free distribution to poor and vulnerable Kenyans across the country’s 47 counties especially those in informal settlements.

For any enquiries to KPC about the GoK hand sanitizers, members of the public can call KPC on toll free number 0800720198.