By Eunice Kayo
President Uhuru Kenyatta asked County Governors to make bold and unpopular decisions as Covid-19 cases continue to rise exponentially across the country.
Speaking during the sixth extraordinary session of the National and County Governments Co-ordinating Summit on Wednesday, the head of state said the county bosses now need to put in place restrictions in an attempt to contain the impending second wave of Covid-19 amid worrying trends in the past few weeks.
“In a situation of crisis, ‘action’ also means: knowing the way; going the way; and showing the way.This is what is expected of us as leaders from the national to county levels. I am persuaded that if we exercise collective leadership in the fight against this pandemic, we will reverse the upward surge of new infections. And while at it, we must not be pushed to make popular decisions to appease the public. We must choose the bold over the popular, if it serves the country better,” President Kenyatta said.
“I invite this summit to make bold and, once again, maybe not so popular decisions and I implore you to focus on your role as leaders, not managers. Let us look at the big picture and how it will affect the country, and your role in coming up with solutions to solve the problem,” he added.
The Head of State also raised alarm over perceived non-compliance of the 11 pm to 4 am curfew saying a section of authorities has taken advantage of the situation to breed corruption.
He further intimated that political rallies as well as bars that have been seen to be operating beyond the required times could be hindering government efforts to manage the virus.
“Other enforcement challenges include curfews, public meetings and drinking places. On curfews, we erected check-points with the hope that they will become a deterrence for unnecessary movement. But in some instances, the curfew enforcement points became outlets of corruption and unjust accumulation. The question to this Summit, therefore, is: is there a way that the national government could have coordinated better with the county governments to arrest such eventuality? Or, is there a way we could have provided collective leadership to arrest the unexpected consequences of road-side rallies and bars that remained open beyond the required timeline?” the head of state posed.
President Kenyatta urged the summit, consisting majorly of county governments, to cooperate with the national government in coming up with proper and safe measures for reopening of schools.
“COVID-19 has put pressure on our education system and calendar, collectively, we need to come up with leadership solutions that provide us a feasible way forward. This will not be a national government affair only, it requires the involvement of all of us,” said the President.