Long serving Kenya Red Cross (KRC) Secretary General, Dr Abbas Gullet has retired from his position at the organisation. For a long time, Dr Gullet had been synonymous with humanitarian response across the country.
Dr Gullet joined the organisation in 1973 at the age of 11 as a volunteer. He became the organisation’s Secretary General in 2001 to 2002 and from 2005 to his retirement this year where he has served for 14 consecutive years. During his term at the helm of the organisation, KRC responded to emergencies across the country swiftly providing aid and moral support. Most notable of his achievement, is when he lead a drive to support Kenyans suffering from effects of drought and famine in Northern Kenya through the Kenyans 4 Kenya Initiative in 2011.
He also led his team in other numerous occasions like terrorism attacks (Westgate, Garrisa University etc), floods, collapse of buildings among others.
His tenure has, however, not been smooth. In March this year, the organisation launched a campaign to help starving families in Turkana, the appeal was received with mixed reactions by Kenyans, some questioning the organisation’s transparency in handling finances. Most Kenyans instead supported a parallel initiative by a local musician whom they said was more transparent in cash handling than the organisation. This appeal was not successful as the earlier one in 2011.
The position will be taken over by one of his deputies, Dr Asha Mohammed.
During a farewell party held in his honour, Dr Mohammed said, “Once a Red Crosser, always a Red Crosser. He [Dr Gullet] is still one of us and he will continue to support the work we do.”
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi was the Chief Guest at the farewell party. He thanked Dr Gullet for his exemplary service to humanity. “We cant thank you enough for the service you have rendered to this country,” said the CS.