- The President acknowledged the situation has not been easy for him as a national leader to make important decisions during this period.
- He also acknowledged that such strict rules have caused many problems in the community, especially young people who suffer from depression.
- Kenyatta also recognized various achievements made by the country.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has opened up about the anxieties he has been going through since the coronavirus disaster hit the country in March. Kenyatta officially opened a conference on COVID-19 disease organized by the Council of Governors via video network.
In his speech yesterday, the President acknowledged the situation has not been easy for him as a national leader to make important decisions during this period.
The biggest challenge they face is deciding whether to protect civilian life by setting strict rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus or to protect the economy and livelihoods of civilians, which may provide an opportunity for the spread of infection. He explained:
“I have been going through a dilemma to make decisions. It was very difficult to make a decision between two things that were both fair. There has never been a time in this nation where the president has been asked to issue regulations that prevent people from enjoying their freedom.”
Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the country, citizens have gone through a difficult time due to strict regulations such as lockdown, closure of some cities and streets, non-compliance orders among other regulations.
He also acknowledged that such strict rules have caused many problems in the community, especially young people who suffer from depression.
“I urge the Ministry of Health to realize how we will solve the problem of stress facing the people, especially our youth,” he said. However, President Kenyatta said it was due to these conditions that now the number of patients advertised daily has begun to decline.
Despite the decline in infections in Kenya, he urged citizens not to be complacent in upholding the principles of infection control until there is full evidence that the country has won a victory over the coronavirus. He said:
“The good news is that the numbers are starting to decline, but let’s not start celebrating early. This is because it has been proven that the number starts to decrease after reaching the peak. This is a dangerous time because from here, the numbers could start to rise again.”
The public conference was also attended by governors led by the Chairman of the Council of Governors, Mr. Wycliffe Oparanya, and ministers including Mutahi Kagwe (Health), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), and Betty Maina (Business). Several ambassadors and representatives of human rights organizations were also present.
The conference was intended to review the steps Kenya has taken so far and to provide direction on the steps to be taken going forward. It was also intended to identify appropriate action to be taken in the coming years in the event of another such catastrophe.
Among the challenges identified was corruption in the procurement of essential anti-COVID-19 equipment, police brutality in enforcing regulations, central government delays in providing funding to county governments, and many counties’ inability to provide emergency medical care.
On the other hand, various achievements have been recognized, such as the high level of innovation of Kenyans to equip themselves with essential medical equipment.