Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris did not attend the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance demonstrations (Maandamano) due to health reasons.
With reports that the Opposition might take to the streets once again after a cease-fire was called in April, Passaris still does not intend to participate in the anti-government protests.
Speaking on KTN TV Tuesday, the Nairobi woman rep said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from 2017 and I’ve never recovered. It gets worse,” she said.
Passaris however noted that everyone has a right to hold protests.
“So I personally will not join maandamanos. Everybody has a right to express themselves, to go out and demonstrate but personally, for health reasons, I do not go for demonstrations,” she said.
Passaris at the same time voiced her support for the government’s housing levy outlined in the contentious Finance Bill 2023.
Passaris, a member of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, expressed her support for the housing levy, which she believes will contribute to the eradication of slums in Nairobi.
“Many people are shouting and complaining about the Bill. However, let me state here that there is no gain without pain. We need to eliminate slums in Nairobi and the housing plan is one way to do this. Also, the housing project has a lot of goodies that will come with it once it has been rolled out.
“Slums come with many problems. Crime, illegal power and water connections are the norms. The housing project will heavily contribute to checking these challenges while creating a more conducive environment to live in and even work,” Passaris explained.
She challenged the government to ensure the project is implemented successfully.
“The government must also ensure the project is implemented fully for the benefit of our people. Let us give it the benefit of the doubt, especially if the Finance Bill passes. But I hope the government will take decisive actions to address the problem of corruption,” Passaris said.
Adding: “If the government does not deal with corruption, we are going to have a big problem. No matter how much money will be collected, we will not deliver the housing scheme if corruption is allowed to thrive. We really need better housing for our people.”