In a previous posting, the words of Engels came to life in describing the current state of affairs in Kenya. And in this, in giving life to the words of Karl Marx, I noted that Muigai is the recurrence/ reincarnation of the first Ngegi only this time as farce. The first Kenyatta borrowed money from Int’l partners to buy back land from settlers, land that had been stolen from the natives in the first place. The money ended up in the pockets of his powerful friends and a few well placed individuals. That was tragedy. The 2nd Kenyatta went on a borrowing spree unparalleled in the country’s history and large chunks of this many is said to have ended up in powerful people’s pockets. Because of his greed for loans, the country is now in a perilous state, no tax revenues to run government programs as most businesses have shut down and a broke treasury that is incapable of rising to the challenge of meeting economic slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.
Having said that, one would hope that it is finally apparent that governments ought to invest in healthcare facilities, personnel, research and development etc. The executive and parliament need to wake up to the realization that building capacity in our local hospitals is critical not just for the poor people but even for them. The current pandemic has made it clear to all those that can see that this government lock-downs means they would depend on local institutions for their healthcare. Institutions they have de-funded through the years by low budget allocations and stealing with their relatives whatever is left. County governments should invest in health institutions but even our governors are busy competing in how much of public money they can steal.
I am ashamed to say that most of our universities have come out embarrassingly inadequately prepared for the 21st century. I am not even sure they have developed procedures to continue to offer lessons online to their students. In terms of response to covid19, all I have seen is university departments producing sanitizers. I do hope that our biochemistry departments are at the forefront in developing reagents that can be used locally to increase the capacity of the country to test the cases. There is need to increase funding for research and development.
In the same vain, those of us in the construction industry should be at the forefront, together with the universities in developing innovative building materials and building our capacity to produce most of the inputs required in buildings. We must take advantage of the pandemic to rethink our relationship with the rest of the world.
this is a w-i-p