Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has termed the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Kenya with four confirmed cases, as a blessing in disguise, saying it will push the country to fix its systems, especially the health and manufacturing sectors.
Speaking on Tuesday at Mavoko Sub-County offices, Dr Mutua said that it is time for leaders to think about fixing the systems as both the poor and rich have been equally affected.
The governor said that the rich have always had options as they can go for treatment outside the country but now the new disease has given them an opportunity to learn that if systems work properly in Kenya, the country will be self-reliant.
FIX THE COUNTRY
“You will hate me for this, but coronavirus is also 'good' – the rich have always been taken abroad for treatment, (but) we are now going to die or live in this country. Nobody will accept you in those countries. We are all stuck here now,” Dr Mutua said.
He said the new pandemic is a "wake-up call from God" giving leaders a chance to fix the country and resolve issues which have been neglected since independence.
“Now, Covid-19 has made both the rich and the poor equal. Nobody wants us in Washington or India. If it is dying, we all die here, if it is living, the same applies,” he said.
HARD ECONOMIC TIMES
The governor also said that Kenya should consider revamping manufacturing and innovation as the country is headed for hard economic times.
He said Kenya has been given an opportunity to be self-reliant like other countries such as Japan and stop depending on imports.
“We need to be independent and stop importing even toothpicks. Now that China has shut down, what next? We need to start manufacturing our own telephones, cars and everything,” he added.
He said that the country should learn serious lessons from the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, adding that it is time to think “the Chap Chap way”.
Dr Mutua is the leader of Maendeleo Chap Chap party.
“We need to have a factory in every sub-county so that we can manufacture everything locally and be self-reliant. That is the Chap Chap model – think quick, act fast, safe lives,” said Dr Mutua.
At the same time, Machakos Level Four Hospital will soon start testing patients for Covid-19 after the county purchased a PCR machine which is now awaiting approval by the national government.
Dr Mutua said that Machakos is the only county that has the equipment but lacks the necessary reagents. However, his administration is liaising with the national government in order to get them, he said.