The Twelfth [12th] Presidential Address on the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Twelfth [12th] Presidential Address on the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Twelfth [12th] Presidential Address on the Covid-19 Pandemic
September 28, 2020, Admin 0 Comments President speech today, President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Uhuru Kenyatta speech today, Presidential address today in Kenya

The Twelfth [12th] Presidential Address on the Covid-19 Pandemic on Monday, 28th September 2020 at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (Kicc) Nairobi.

In Statements and Speeches

Fellow Kenyans and Conference Participants,

Good Evening to You All,

I am delighted to conference with you today at this gathering that has brought together the teams, which have shaped our national response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

In your different capacities, as leaders, clergy, technocrats, civil society, and experts; you have helped the Country navigate through the turns and twists of the Corona crisis for the last six months, and brought us within sight of the safe harbor.

The panel discussions held this afternoon have highlighted both the Hits and the Misses in our national endeavor to flatten the infection curve. Overall, we have demonstrated resilience in the face of a tremendous challenge.

I celebrate our gallant health care workers and all our essential services providers, for keeping the Kenyan flame burning bright. Today, we honor and salute them all, and recognize their representatives who are in our midst at this Conference.

Even as we mourn for our compatriots whom we have lost to this disease, we are eternally grateful to God for our survivors and recoveries. Each death is a tragedy, and every recovery is a story of heroic triumph.

I am confident that as a Nation, we will stay the course for the remainder of this journey and reach our desired end. For your efforts, I once again thank you, collectively and individually, on behalf of the People and the Government of the Republic of Kenya, and on my own behalf.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the last six months, the country has been in a ‘Season of Paradox’. Since March this year, when we recorded the first COVID-19 case, it became necessary to shut down the economy in order to save it.

We had to avoid our loved ones, especially the elderly because we care for their health and cherish their wisdom.

And, it became necessary to withdraw our children from schools in order to secure their future.

All this was a paradox – a conflict between the ‘new normal’; and what we think the ‘normal’ should be.

Today, however, we face an even greater paradox. As we flatten the Corona Curve, it may appear like a victory, is on sight. Yes, the COVID positivity rate has fallen from 13% in June, 7% in August, and is now at 4.4% in September. With these figures, we can be tempted to celebrate, more so because we are now below the 5% positivity rate recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for re-opening.

Yet these achievements are a paradox in themselves. I say so because “…the greatest danger is always at the moment of victory”.

In fact, experience has taught us that we are the most vulnerable and fragile at the point where we think we have won.

Get me right, I am not saying this to belittle the achievements we have made so far. I am only asking us to incline on the side of caution. If we have won one battle against COVID-19, we have not won the war yet. The possibility of a second wave of this pandemic is, real as we have seen in other countries.

As an affirmation that the enemy is still within our borders, we continue to record new infections every day. In that regard, to forestall what is happening elsewhere, we must continue adhering to the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health.

I am, however, particularly delighted by the advances we have made in the health sector. When we were hit by this pandemic in March this year, we had only 8 infectious diseases Isolation beds country-wide.

Seven days after the first COVID case was reported, we were able to increase this bed capacity to 60.

Currently, and working in partnership with County Governments, we are at 312 ICU beds and 7,411 isolation beds nationally. Done in only six months, these achievements are, indeed, phenomenal.

In fact, in this period of six months, we have installed medical equipment never seen in this country since independence. As an affirmation of our expanding capacity and as we continue to Re-imagine Kenya’s Healthcare, early in the month, I presided over the official opening of our fifth National Referral Hospital – K.U. Teaching Referral and Research Hospital.

The new facility is part of our national response for specialized treatment of chronic diseases, notably: cancer and renal diseases – the twin diseases that have wreaked havoc to many families across the nation.

In that regard, once the K.U – Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC), is completed, by March 2021, there will no longer be need for any Kenyan to travel abroad in search of specialized treatment Cancer Treatment, as our enhanced capacity will be able to handle medical conditions treated abroad.

Indeed, the Referral facilities, coupled with the expanded county infrastructure will enhance our national possibilities and anchor our plans to position our nation for medical tourism from neighboring countries, and propel us for the national rollout of Universal Health Care under the Big Four Agenda.

Fellow Kenyans,

Our expanded health infrastructure, as I have mentioned, is impressive. However, the important question to ask ourselves is: Does it make our position unassailable if the second wave were to hit us? Is it sufficient a buffer to keep the wave at bay? The ANSWER to this question is a resounding NO. The expanded infrastructure is NECESSARY, but not SUFFICIENT. Without citizen action, the impressive infrastructure cannot forestall the aggression of a second wave.

To buffer the country, therefore, the citizens must position themselves as the First Line of Defence. The reason why we have managed to flatten the curve is that Kenyans have exercised an impressive civic responsibility and duty. And if danger is most present in moments of victory, this achievement is in danger if we do not watch out.

That is why I urge all Kenyans to double their efforts in observing the COVID protocols. We got this far because we, the citizen, were the First Line of Defense against this pandemic.

And as we get into the next phase of the war against this pandemic, we must heed the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi when he said: ’… start by doing what is necessary, then it will lead you to what is possible and before you know it, you will find yourself doing the impossible”.

If we do what is necessary during the next phase of the war against this pandemic, it will lead us to do what is possible. Then cumulatively, our necessary actions (like wearing a mask) coupled with our possible deeds, will lead us to the impossible outcome of containing this pandemic.

Indeed, as people we must always remember that ‘…impossible is nothing’ if we apply ourselves.

And now in the spirit of co-creating the ‘new normal’ between the government and its people; and on the advice of the National Security Council and in line with the recommendations of the National Emergency Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, I direct and announce as follows:-

i. One, THAT the Nationwide Curfew in force throughout the territory of the Republic of Kenya is extended for a further sixty (60) days;

ii. Two, THAT the commencement time for the Nationwide Curfew, is varied from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Therefore, effective tomorrow, Tuesday the 29th of September, 2020 the national wide dusk-to-dawn Curfew will run from 11:00 O’clock in the night to 4:00 O’clock in the morning.

iii. Three, THAT the prohibition against the operation of bars and the prohibition against the sale of alcoholic drinks and beverages by ordinary restaurants and eateries, shall stand vacated with effect from 29th September 2020;

iv. Four, THAT the closing time for all bars, restaurants, and eateries shall be 10 pm every day with effect from 29th September 2020 and their operations shall be with strict adherence to all applicable guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health;

v. Five, THAT in line with the recommendations of the Inter-Faith Council, the permitted maximum size of religious gatherings is increased to one third (1/3) of its normal sitting capacity; but with strict adherence to all applicable guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health; and

vi. Six, THAT the permitted maximum number of persons attending funerals and weddings is reviewed upwards from one hundred (100) to two hundred (200); but with strict adherence to all applicable guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health.

As we progressively de-escalate the containment measures and resume a sense of normalcy on education, our paramount consideration both as a Government and as parents is the safety and the well-being of our children.

The lives and health of our children is not a matter of debate. Learning institutions should be reopened only when we can sufficiently guarantee the safety of our children.

And here I really would plead with Kenyans – let us not focus ourselves on when schools will reopen but how shall these schools open in a manner that protects our children and protects their lives and their health.

Let us think first about their health and wellbeing and once we have established how then together we will agree when.

The resumption of in-person learning must be predicated on strict adherence to the health protocols and guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Health.

In that regard, I, therefore, direct and order the Cabinet Secretary for Education to issue the Calendar for the resumption of the 2020 Academic calendar, strictly bearing the foregoing in mind.

As I give these directives, I underscore the need to continue adhering to the health guidelines and protocols; to avoid losing the gains we have made thus far. I will not hesitate to escalate containment measures in the event any of these indicators register on my dashboard.

Fellow Kenyans,

Conference Participants,

The containment measures put in place in March 2020 to stem the spread of Covid-19; have had positive returns in terms of our safety and national security. In the six months since then, crime has exhibited a 21% average decline and traffic accidents have reduced by an average of 10%.

I will conclude with some thoughts on our economy. I said earlier that we are living in a ‘Season of Paradox’. An age where our new reality is in conflict with what we ‘feel reality should be’. Indeed, this is not only true of our social lives it is also true of our economy.

Against all odds, some of our entrepreneurs have re-imagined the subsisting pandemic and created a new business reality that disorganizes the existing order at play.

This is a new business model driven by innovators and makers of things; people who did not see the danger in the COVID crisis, but saw opportunity instead. Businesses that experienced a shock from COVID, but bounced back better.

But the question that this development begs is the following: If positive disruptions and innovations have mushroomed during COVID-19, how do we support them as part of our resilience-building strategy?

How do we boost a small ‘samosa delivery’ company known as “Wau Eats” whose recipe from India is 100 years old, for instance? And how do we encourage the Association of Women in Agriculture Kenya (AWAK) with their innovative work amongst vulnerable slum women across the country?

During the first phase of this pandemic, we rolled out a series of economic stimulus packages. Today, and in support of our small businesses and innovators, I direct as follows:

i. One, that the National Treasury considers retaining VAT at 14% until 1st January 2021.

ii. Two, that the National Treasury considers retaining the Income Tax Rate (Pay-As-You-Earn) at 25 percent until 1st January 2021.

iii. Three, that the National Treasury considers retaining the Resident Income Tax (Corporation Tax) at 25% until 1st January 2021.

iv. Four, that to continue cushioning low-income earners the National Treasury maintains the 100 percent tax relief for persons earning a gross monthly income of up to Ksh. 24,000 beyond the Sunset date of 31st December 2020.

v. Five, that to continue cushioning our Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the National Treasury considers maintaining the reduction of the turnover tax rate from 3 percent to 1 percent for all Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

vi. Six, to enhance access to credit for our micro, small and medium enterprises, the National Treasury is directed to expedite the roll-out of the credit guarantee scheme in partnership with participating banks and development partners. The credit guarantee scheme as approved by Cabinet is a risk-sharing partnership between the Government and banks, which will afford our enterprises access to credit by an additional 100 billion shillings.

Fellow Kenyans,

When COVID pandemic hit us in March this year, we did not know the extent of the crisis. In-between the crisis, I told you that we were in what I called the ‘Fog of War’. The theatres of war were invisible and foggy.

However, today I am comforted by the fact that we are not running in the dark. We might not know everything about this pandemic, but we know something.

And although we only know in part, we are better prepared today than we were in March this year. Our level of civic consciousness and responsibility is higher. However, to build the resilience that allows us to anticipate the second wave and respond to it, we must do even better.

That is why I must emphasize by repeating what St Francis of Assisi taught us: If we do the NECESSARY, it will lead us to the POSSIBLE. Indeed at this point, the IMPOSSIBLE will happen without us REALIZING it.

Starting the next phase of this pandemic by doing the necessary, and working together in unity, this is how we will defeat this COVID menace! And we will conquer the enemy.

God Bless you. God Bless Kenya

Thank you

PANIC Stricken Ruto Returns To Jubilee HQ After Party Bowed Out Of Msambweni By-Elections

PANIC Stricken Ruto Returns To Jubilee HQ After Party Bowed Out Of Msambweni By-Elections

Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday, September 23, rushed back to the Jubilee Headquarters following an announcement by the party’s Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.

Tuju had earlier announced that Jubilee will not field a candidate in the forthcoming Msambweni by-election slated for Tuesday, December 15.

Former State House digital director Dennis Itumbi then revealed that the Deputy President was headed to the party’s Headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi.

Ruto arrived at the Jubilee Headquarters minutes after Tuju’s announcement on the upcoming Msambweni by-election.

Speaking to Reactor Review, Ruto’s close ally and Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa revealed that Ruto is set to challenge the decision not to field a candidate for the Msambweni by-election.

“The announcement by Tuju is part of the reason for his visit. We cannot allow the party to make a unilateral decision that someone just wakes up and makes.

“We are a political party and not a Non-Governmental Organization, we are not in any political partnership with ODM,” noted Barasa.

In his announcement, Tuju cited that the party in its recent cooperation with ODM, saw it fit not to field a candidate for the by-election.

The Sec-Gen added that the country faces serious issues currently following CJ David Maraga’s call for the dissolution of Parliament for failing to legislate laws to implement the gender rule.

Ruto also visited the Jubilee Headquarters on Tuesday, September 22, to supervise plans by the party on the upcoming by-elections.

Ruto and his allies have been at loggerheads with Tuju, accusing him of failing to consult when making key party decisions.

TSC orders teachers to report to schools next week Monday ahead of reopening

TSC orders teachers to report to schools next week Monday ahead of reopening

Primary and Secondary School teachers are expected to report to their respective schools from Monday, September 28 to prepare for the eventual re-opening.

Education Response Committee chaired by Sara Ruto of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) reccomends that schools re-open in October.

However, Education CS George Magoha said the recommendations by the committee will be tabled before a larger committee after which, the official date for the school’s re-opening will be given.

“It is not for me to give the date for the re-opening. I will table this report before a larger committee for a deliberation on the actual date for the resumption of schooling,” Prof. Magoha said.

The scattered re-opening will see candidates report to school first; with the rest of the students expected back in a few weeks.

Standard Seven, Standard Eight, Form Three and Form Four students will be expected in the school’s first.

Upon resumption of classes, non-candidates will undergo a crash-learning programme aimed at covering the second term syllabus before December.

The Education Ministry further said teachers will be guided on how to finish the syllabus before the national exams slated for April 2021.

Under the new recommendations, the second term which was disrupted by the pandemic will begin in October and end in November whilst the third term will kick off from January through to March.

TRAGIC: Silverstone cargo plane crashes in Mogadishu

TRAGIC: Silverstone cargo plane crashes in Mogadishu

A Kenyan cargo plane on Saturday crashed at Mogadishu’s main airport in Somalia, injuring two of the five crew members.

Following the accident, the Aden Adde International Airport was shut down briefly as emergency personnel attended to the crew who were aboard the Silverstone plane.

The aircraft, a Dash-8, was on its way to deliver supplies to the African Union Mission (AMISOM) forces in Beledwyene, some 335 km north of Mogadishu in Central Somalia.

It failed to lift while taking off and hit a perimeter wall of the airport, officials said.

Witnesses said the aircraft had circled around the airport at low altitude before attempting an emergency landing.

Photos shared on social media showed the plane had rammed a wall on the edge of the airport.

The aircraft registered in Kenya as 5Y-MHT routinely operates cargo flights to and within Somalia, delivering supplies to both UN and AMISOM centres. Ahmed Moalim Hassan, the Director-General of the Somalia Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the accident saying there had been two injuries.

Later, Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia Lucas Tumbo said all the five crew member had been rescued and were safe.

It is the third accident involving a Kenyan aircraft this year in Somalia. In July, a Kenyan pilot and his crew survived another crash after a plane they were controlling encountered a mishap as it landed at Beledweyne airport.

The plane operated by Blue Bird Aviation had been contracted by the UN to deliver foodstuff and other humanitarian supplies to Beledwyene.

Officials said that the plane, a Fokker, had flown with the goods from Djibouti City. But as it approached, it landed on the murram runway of the local airstrip in Somalia. Around 1.30pm, it encountered mechanical problems.

In May, a Kenyan aircraft was shot down as it approached an airstrip in Bardale manned by the Ethiopian troops who were not part of AMISOM. All the six on board were killed. But the incident created controversy after it emerged the Ethiopian troops that ‘mistakenly’ shot it down were not part of the AMISOM troops.

Courting Gusii: Anti-Ruto protests break out in Kisii town ahead of DP’s visit

Courting Gusii: Anti-Ruto protests break out in Kisii town ahead of DP’s visit

Protests have broken out in Kisii town ahead of Deputy President William Ruto’s visit today.

The protests have been staged by a pro-handshake team, but the DP’s supporters have come out to counter.

Dr. Ruto is Thursday expected to visit Kisii County as the Gusii vote continues to attract the interest of politicians eyeing the country’s top seat in the 2022 General Election.

The visit comes two days after the DP hosted another consultative meeting with a section of elected leaders from the region at his Karen residence in Nairobi on Monday.

The DP will be hosted by his point men in the region – Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and South Mugirango Member of Parliament Silvanus Osoro. The two led the Kisii delegation that met the DP on Monday.

This was the fourth time DP Ruto was hosting a delegation from Gusii this year alone. He has also visited the region twice.

Sources said the DP has scheduled another meeting with Gusii leaders later next month.

As the DP intensifies his presidential campaigns, supporters of his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, are also fighting for control of the region.

There has also been growing interest around Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i amid a push to have him run for the presidency in 2022. On Thursday, the DP is expected to meet boda boda riders in Kisii town before moving to South Mugirango constituency for a meeting with women groups.

During the Monday meeting, DP Ruto hosted some current and former Members of the Kisii County Assembly (MCAs), youth leaders, and bloggers.

Mr. Maangi told Nation that Monday’s meeting was part of a plan by the DP to win the support of the over 1.5 million voters in Gusiiland, which is made up of Kisii and Nyamira Counties.

“The meeting at the DP’s official Karen residence was for ground mobilizers – MCAs – and the DP plans to camp in the region,” said Mr. Maangi. “The MCAs have often accompanied MPs in previous meetings and complained of being overshadowed. This was meant to give them an audience.”

In January this year, a delegation from Gusii visited Dr. Ruto’s home in an apparent effort to pledge their loyalty. The delegation included politicians, professionals and grassroots leaders.

Sources indicated that the quick move by Dr. Ruto was aimed at expanding his support base after ODM leader and his political nemesis, Raila Odinga, and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i led a powerful group to assert BBI’s mission in Gusii.

Mr. Maangi, who is Dr. Ruto’s point man in the Gusii region, MPs Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Mr Osoro (South Mugirango), Alpha Miruka (Bomachoge Chache), and nominated Senator Millicent Omanga (Nairobi) attended the meeting.

In July, Kisii ODM chairman Samwel Omwando was in a group that paid the DP a courtesy call in his Karen residence and declared that they would campaign for him in the 2022 presidential election.

The DP met about 60 opinion and political leaders from Kisii County. The delegation, organized by Mr. Osoro, was described as an ‘inter-parties meeting’ and it led to the formation of the grouping ‘DP’s Foot Soldiers’.

In August, Dr. Ruto hosted another delegation of 10 civic leaders from Nyamira County at his Karen residence, a week after meeting another team from Kisii County.

As the DP held his meeting, another group of 25 MCAs allied to Dr. Matiang’i, who is President Kenyatta’s point man in Gusii, congregated in a parallel gathering in Nakuru.

Each group claimed to represent the government and that their mission was to discuss development on behalf of their people.

Those at Ruto’s Karen meeting included Mr. Mose, Mr. Nyamoko, and Mr. Kemosi. There were also about 10 MCAs.

Johana Ng’eno loses seat after abusing President Kenyatta

Johana Ng’eno loses seat after abusing President Kenyatta

Independency party KANU has resolved to expel Emurua Dikirr Member of Parliament Johanna Ng’eno over the recent attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family.

“You are not Kenya and Kenya is nor Kenyatta’s or Mama Ngina’s land. This land belongs to 47 million Kenyans, you cannot run it as you wish,” Ng’eno is quoted saying.
His remarks have earned him a whip from his sponsoring party KANU that has now expelled him from the party giving him the option of seeking a new mandate in a by-election using a party of his choice.
KANU’s Sec-General made the announcement. Salat also cited alleged hate speech remarks that saw Ng’eno arrested on Monday, September 7, as one of the reasons it used to resolve to sever links with the lawmaker.
“We in KANU have found that honorable Ng’eno has fallen short of provisions of Article six of the constitution and he should therefore be stripped off the privileges to serve Kenya as a state officer. In this regard, in as much as we sympathize with the people of his constituency, the public interest demands that he does not continue being a member of KANU.
The people of Emurua Dikirr will have to choose between peace and anarchy. The way he has been behaving is unbecoming, we, therefore, have to part ways. We are parting ways as a party and he has the freedom to pick any other party he wants but as KANU, we are parting ways with him,” said Salat.