Uhuru Kenyatta is proud of promoting “made in Kenya” products. He is kin to encourage local industries to build products for Kenyans instead of importing from abroad.
Then it follows that when some bed makers propagated their crafts of a prototype hospital bed they have made, Uhuru promptly responded by ordering some for the National Hospitals. He was so impressed by the hospital bed that he ordered his delivery team to go and inspect the product to see whether the national government can order 500 of them. Nice gesture from a Head of State you think? Not so fast! Apparently, Uhuru Kenyatta has offered attention to the wrong hospital bed makers. Yes they are Kenyans but the intended innovator is on the other side of Kiambu county. And Yes, Uhuru Kenyatta offered lucrative government contract to his own Kikuyu tribesmen while leaving poor Luo hustlers in the dark.
Hospital Bed -Made In Kenya
On Monday, it all started with Stephen Odhiambo and Dennis Omondi tweeting about the bed they have made as well as posting images of their prototype bed on Facebook. Kenyans fell in love with Odhiambo et al’s well crafted bed and immediately shared their craft on social media as the story went viral. When president Kenyatta‘s Presidential Delivery team went out to inspect the product, it looks like they were diverted to another hospital bed makers that are not the ones trending on social media. For some reasons, the presidential delivery team made the deal with these individuals despite the fact that this is not what the president intended to buy.
The above images show the bed made by Mr. Odhiambo and Mr. Omondi. This was the bed that was trending in social media. It is also safe to say this is the bed that the president of Kenya got notified of. It was expected that the president will order several of them for the national hospitals. Below is the “other” hospital bed on offer. Although the makers of the hospital bed prototype below did not trend on social media, they surprising got the lucrative government order. Is it because they are Kikuyus like the Head of State? That is for you to judge!
Why Are Kenyans Upset With The President?
Seemingly, the bed makers who got the president’s deal are Kikuyus while the intended recipients of the deal are Luos. Kenyans are crying foul that the president intentionally awarded a government tender to people from his own tribe while ignoring those from other tribes. Whereas that is true the two teams belong in different tribes, it is likely that the president and his team were misled and went to the wrong carpenters. It is plausible that the presidential delivery team believed this was the intended party to receive the deal from the president.
But Kenyans will monitor the president closely to see what course of action if any he will take after the dust settles down and the president get notified of the mishap. Will he try to split the deal or make another fresh offer to the afflicted party? If the president fails to acknowledge the mishap, he will get the heat from irate Kenyans for promoting tribalism and discrimination. Most people will question the viability of the president’s effort to push through his BBI Agenda.
This is because the president has been drumming up support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), with the pretext of doing away with tribalism and uniting Kenyans from all backgrounds instead. If the president needed an opportunity to lead through example, then it is right here. Two industrious and innovative young citizens who took upon themselves to address the rampant shortage of hospital beds in the country. A majority of Kenyans believe the president should show recognition to both teams for their resourcefulness and products made to help fellow Kenyans. That is why most of these Kenyans flocked to social media to air their grievances about the way the president handled the situation.
What Do Kenyans Think?
Most Kenyans have a feeling that Mr. Omondi and Mr. Odhiambo’s product is the better option here as it is built like a typical hospital bed. Whereas Mungai and Mhinja’s product is also qualified to be a hospital bed, their product is more bulky and more suited for residential civilian use. Also, Mr. Omondi’s hospital bed comes with more additional features including a slide on over-the-chest food tray while Mungai’s do not.Furthermore, the former has more aesthetic features like color on the foot-board that makes it slightly the preferred option for most Kenyans.
Serious Shortage of Hospital Beds in Kenya
Chances are that Uhuru Kenyatta may be forced to award Mr. Odhiambo and his team a contract for more beds. This is because there is a serious shortage of hospital beds in Kenya, particularly in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Whereas this has always been a problem over the years, the current coronavirus pandemic makes the situation even dire. A recent analysis of the preparedness of most county hospitals to handle a surge in covid-19 patients found that most of the county hospitals do not have enough ICU beds.
Coronavirus has infected more than 13 million people worldwide of which more than 580,000 have succumbed to the effects of the deadly virus. The United States is the most affected country as it sees upwards of 70,000 infections per day. Brazil is closely behind with more than 50,000 new infections in a span of just 24 hours. Whereas the USA has had more than 137, 000 deaths from as a result of covid-19, Brazil’s death is currently at 75,000 deaths and counting.
In Africa, South Africa is by far the most affected country with more than 300,000 reported cases of coronavirus cases. Kenya’s cases of covid-19 still remain low at 11,000 cases with just 200 deaths.
Coronavirus has forced the ministry of education to cancel the 2020 academic year for both primary and secondary schools. As per the Cabinet Secretary of Education Mr. Maghoya, the said schools will not be allowed to commence operations until January 2021. The only students allowed to resume learning are those at Universities and colleges.