Kenya can’t afford another lockdown, say governors

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021 00:00 | By
Council of Governors chair Martin Wambora addresses the press yesterday at his office in Nairobi. With him is Narok Governor Samuel Tunai (right) and Kiraitu Murungi (left). Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Governors have said they are not in support of a lockdown despite the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the last one week.

Led by the Council of Governors (CoG) Tourism Committee chair Samuel ole Tunai, the governors said yesterday imposing another lockdown will have a negative impact on the economy, which is still struggling.

However, they urged Kenyans to strictly adhere to the Covid-19 health protocols.

“We have lost a lot of jobs during the closure of our economy and we will not support it now.

Kenyans now know Covid-19 pandemic is there and people should follow the Ministry of Health protocols fully,” said Tunai, who spoke in Nairobi.

He said that one of the areas that have borne the brunt is the hospitality industry and closing the economy at a time like this when domestic tourism is at its peak will have serious repercussions.

CoG chair Martin Wambora echoed the sentiments saying observing the Covid-19 rules should be taken very seriously, especially during Christmas festivities.

“We are in the festive season and it is time to stay together and celebrate. However, we wish to remind all of us that Covid-19 cases are rapidly rising and this may not go down anytime soon so we urge all of us to remain alive to the adverse effects Covid-19.”

The CoG chairman spoke after the full council meeting, which was held at the CoG offices in Nairobi.

During the meeting, he said that the Council agreed to hold its annual elections on January 27.

Wambora said this will be the last election under the Jubilee Government and will be responsible for ensuring a smooth transition of the leadership of the council.

Similarly, he announced Mary Mwiti as the next CoG Chief Executive for the next three years following a competitive recruitment that saw 41 candidates apply.

Managed Equipment Services

The meeting also resolved to seek an expert opinion on the Managed Equipment Service (MES) project to inform the way forward.

Yesterday said the seven-year contract is coming to an end on diverse dates between December next year and May 2023 and the Ministry of Health has put in place a committee to review the project as the contract requires.

He said that the MES review committee’s report proposed the extension of contract for an additional three years.

“The CoG has resolved that counties will seek expert opinion on the issue, who will render professional advise which will inform the counties on the next course of action,” said Wambora.

According to Wambora, a survey was conducted between May and June with the aim of ascertaining the status of MES equipment in counties, which he said has informed the options that should be considered upon the expiry of the seven-year contract term.

The options include decommissioning and disposal of equipment by the contractor, transfer of equipment to the Ministry at defined terms or extension of the contracts for an additional three years.

At the same time, CoG has called upon the Ministry of Health to convene an urgent consultative meeting to address issues arising from upgrade of maternity upgrade and newborn facilities.

“It has been brought to the attention of the Council that the Ministry of Health has presented a proposal to obtain a commercial loan of about 19.3 million Euros to upgrade 20 facilities in 12 counties,” said Wambora.

The counties include Narok, Nyamira, Kisii, Embu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nyeri, Kwale, Murang’a, Samburu and Nyandarua.

He said the council is discontented in the opaque manner which the Ministry of Health has undertaken the process.

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