Renowned political analyst and University of Nairobi (UoN) lecturer Herman Manyora, while sharing his thoughts on the government’s response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Kenya, explained why he believes it is time for the military to take charge.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Sunday, March 22, Manyora noted that despite the government issuing several directives meant to compel Kenyans to take seriously the precautionary measures, life was going on almost as normal, thereby putting lives at risk.
“For example, the other day they directed 14-seater matatus to carry only 8 people. I am just from town, that is not happening. The city of Nairobi is dirty, it is filthy. Bars have been ordered to close at 7.30 p.m. from Monday. Do you honestly think they will adhere to that or will the police take bribes?” he posed.
Manyora opined that the military would bring some semblance of discipline and precision, further observing that it was important to take the Covid-19 seriously as Kenya did not have the capacity to handle an outbreak on the scale of what has been witnessed in more developed countries such as Italy and China.
“We need the military to take charge of the response team so that we can have some discipline. Do you think the military will simply be taking bribes? No. They will ensure we stick to the measures put in place.
“Italy now has more deaths than China, they are struggling under the weight of this Coronavirus. What about us here in Kenya?
“The military should work hand in hand with the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe‘s team to ensure Kenyans are kept safe,” he noted.
Manyora noted that with all confirmed cases so far having been imported from other nations, the military, in particular, would be better placed to effectively restrict the entry of individuals from foreign nations into the country.
“We have people still flying into Kenya from all sorts of countries. We have ships docking. As recently as the other week, we had a plane from Italy. Italy!
“The military will be able to take control of this, to ensure that we are not putting lives at risk by letting people in,” he asserted.
Manyora predicted that President Uhuru Kenyatta would eventually task the military with taking charge, but only when the situation had gotten out of control.
“They will definitely bring in the army but it will be too late. I wish they do it now instead of as a reactionary measure when we are overwhelmed,” he stated.
A number of countries affected by the Coronavirus such as Italy, France and Spain have instituted nationwide lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the virus.
In Italy, for example, military police were deployed to highways, railway stations and other public areas to enforce movement and travel bans put in place following the outbreak.
Watch a video of Manyora breaking down his thoughts below: