Mutahi Kagwe: The emerging ‘coronavirus pandemic hero’
Wall Street Journal has listed Health CS Mutahi Kagwe as among effective leaders globally during the coronavirus pandemic.
He has been mentioned alongside four other leaders who have offered commendable leadership globally and the only one in Africa.
According to the writer Sam Walker, Kagwe’s leadership has become evident in his daily Covid-19 briefings that have given Kenyans hope in the face of the pandemic.
“Kenya’s unlikely Coronavirus hero is Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe, a businessman with an MBA who had been washed out of elective office. In politics, Mr. Kagwe was seen as a technocrat, too ordinary, and emotionally distant. In his coronavirus briefings, these traits became assets,” an excerpt from the publication reads.
“Mr. Kagwe projects calm, emphasises evidence, and urges Kenyans to face facts, a style one senator described as ‘a breath of fresh air.’ In a recent social media poll, Mr. Kagwe’s crisis leadership was rated 8 out of 10.” the publication wrote.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe took over at the helm of the crucial docket at a time the world was starting to feel the heat of the pandemic.
Since the outbreak was first reported in the country on March 13, the CS and the National Emergency Response Committee have been giving a daily update of the coronavirus situation in the country.
He has only missed a few of the briefings which were addressed by either President Uhuru Kenyatta or Health CAS Mercy Mwagangi.
According to WSJ, ‘In this crisis, the deputies are the heroes we need’ the pandemic has exposed our elected leaders who are nowhere to be seen.
“As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, a funny thing is happening. The leaders who have distinguished themselves under pressure are rarely the bold, charismatic, impulsive, self-regarding politically calculating alphas we’ve elected.”
Just before the coronavirus was announced, elected leaders were roaming the country drumming up support for the Building Bridges Initiative rallies.
Currently most of the leaders across the divide have gone mute, not even a message of hope to the constituent during the pandemic.
Others on the WSJ list include Jung Eun-Kyeong, the Director of South Korea’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, UK’s 61-year-old Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer.
In Taiwan, where the positive cases are at 363, the hero is the vice president Chen Chien-Jen. Chen was the former health minister and Johns Hopkins-trained epidemiologist.
In the US, the hero is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases.
Dr Fauci is a member of the White House Covid-19 response team.