Covid19 pandemic has hit the underbelly of most countries in Africa. Kenya has already had its share of bullets from the slow economy to a stagnated social life. Many people are now confined in their homes, travel restrictions imposed, and food security threatened. The whole scenario has been made worse by various forms of curfews pronounced to curb the pandemic.
Covid19 has pushed the rich, the middle-class and a majority of those in salaried jobs to take essential leaves or take the option to work from home to flatten the infection curve of the virus, the poor do not have such advantages
As the disease ravages the circles of every sector of life, It’s becoming clear that Kenya and its leaders would have done a better job to build hospitals, schools, improve health systems, and improve education systems.
COVID-19 presents an unprecedented series of challenges for county leaders in Kenya.
A quick peek at the numerous press conferences made by county governments except a few such as Mombasa County led by Governor Hassan Joho, gives a clear picture of poor leadership and lack of management skills.
The team united in problems but not in solutions has showed Kenyans that misplaced priorities since the start of the new constitution is their brand. It’s unfortunate that many are surrounded by men and women who cannot think like there’s no box.
The county preparedness for covid19 has them allocating Millions of shillings with no objective, proper structure, and accountability for the same. To date, less than 5 counties have something to show for it. The rest are dancing in the old adage of Lack of PPEs, missing leaders, alleged misuse and mismanagement of Covid19, lack of ICU units and an array of administrative problems. It’ll be a shocker after the pandemic if even 40% of allocated Covid19 funds in many Counties would’ve served the purpose.
This pandemic has already exposed county leaders holding to a double standards, Lacking of vision or strategy, poor in communication, haters of criticism and what shocks the country is that most of the counties are led by professors, and doctors.
If this pandemic will ever teach us anything, then the only lesson is that we cannot afford to be led by leaders whose default setting is rewarding political performance over value of service to Kenyans.
When trepidation, panic, and anxiety strikes, many bad leaders disappear. They stay silent and let their subordinates talk to the people.
A bad leader will take advantage of crisis to steal from his or her people without accountability to laws.
It’s a time of Crisis: Where is your leader? What has he or she done to help you in this time of pain?
There are Covid19 grants, donations, funds and other resources flowing into counties. Is your leader performing a trustworthy and quality usage of the resources?
The mandate of the voters is to pick a leader who will keep jobs in their counties by offering right incentives to hire only within their borders. The bizarre choice is electing one who allows all resources to be outsourced, even jobs for cheaper labor when there is a COvid-19 health crisis.
“A great leader will invest in building bridges, Books, not goons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.” says Suzy Kassem
Good times don’t tell you much about the leader. The true colors of leaders is seen in a time of crisis.
This is the time to have your eyes wide open. A leader cannot defend a people if he is not held accountable to laws.
On March 11, WHO declared that the inevitable trajectory of the virus can be altered by the actions of governments, businesses and individuals. Essentially, Leaders have the power to prioritize social good both now and in the days to come. Now is the time to display strong – and empathetic – leadership through the choices made.