Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe received a shot in the arm Thursday after the High Court declined to summon him to explain measures undertaken by the government to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Two NGOs, two doctors, and the Law Society of Kenya had asked the Court to summon the Health CS for failing to file a report on a contingency plan on prevention, surveillance, and control and response systems to COVID-19 outbreak in Kenya.
But Justice Weldon Korir ruled that it was not the right time to be dragging Mutahi Kagwe to court when the country is at war with the deadly disease.
“I decline to summon the CS…We must all appreciate we are now at war, the man leading Kenyans to fight this is the President closely supported by Health Cabinet Secretary.
“Although what petitioners are trying to achieve through this case is also important in the fight against virus, I do not find it reasonable to call a soldier at the war front to come to court,” he said.
On February 28, Justice James Makau had issued orders compelling Health CS to prepare and present to court for scrutiny a report on compliance of coronavirus prevention and control.
The matter will be mentioned on March 26 before the duty judge.
The ruling on Thursday will come as a boost for Mutahi Kagwe who has been earning plaudits from Kenyans on social media for his commendable job at the crucial Health docket.
“CS Mutahi Kagwe is a breath of fresh air. He has -redefined what it means to be in charge of the moment. Sharing information and facing facts is one way for us to take this matter seriously,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo tweeted.
Waruguru Kiai, Africa Rising Solutions founder posted on Facebook: “Mutahi Kagwe has risen, as just an ordinary man, committed to working with the rest of us, in fighting back against Coronavirus, and that is exactly what we needed, now more than ever. And do you notice he does not show up alone at press conferences? He appears with his entire team and allows them to answer technical questions because he respects their expertise. He has valued and made his team feel important, unlike some departments where a CS would rather die than admit he does not know a thing.”
“Seems like we really never had a CS for health until Mutahi Kagwe checked in,” posted Twitter user, @Olez.
Another Kenyan on Twitter, @MKJohn254, observed that: “CS Mutahi Kagwe is making us feel like the Ministry of Health had no CS for ages, he is handling COVID19 very well so far. We are so used to complaining, let’s give credit where it’s due. Keep going Waziri. We can’t remember who you replaced.”
“For my case, CS Kagwe is better than all CS we had in this country,” Lomerii Cheptai posted on Facebook.