What Kenya needs to do to fight economic impact of Coronavirus

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Booker Ngesa Omole, Vice Chairperson and the National Organising Secretary, The Communist Party of Kenya ( CPK) , (file photo)

The communist party of Kenya has called on the Kenyan government to do more to protect the health and rights of all Kenyans even as the new cases of the COVID-19 pandemic increased to 59.

Following the public health prevention and protection measures against the spread of the novel Coronavirus that the Government announced on 15th March 2020, the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) suspended major Party affairs including the sub-county and study circle meetings across the Country for the recommended 14 days.

We are living in unprecedented times, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the soft underbelly of millions of Kenyans and their capacity to really cope with the relative lockdown measure that has already been placed by the government. The working class is already suffering, thanks to the capitalist system we operate in.

According to Booker Ngesa Omole, Vice-Chairperson and the National Organising Secretary of the Communist Party of Kenya ( CPK),  “The Corona Virus pandemic has exposed the poverty of the neo-liberal capitalist idea that the Kenyan society needs more and more of the private sector and less and less of the state sector in the daily running of the economy.”

Booker Ngesa Omole, Vice Chairperson and the National Organising Secretary, The Communist Party of Kenya ( CPK) at a past function.

“If our public transport system was State-owned and managed, the Government of the day would have affected the public vehicle hygiene policies (to the highest standards) without having to plead with the private bus/matatu owners to do so. If the Government controlled the distribution of basic commodities in the country, then the President would not be pleading or issuing threats to the private distributors not to increase the price of these commodities,” Mr. Omole added.

The Communist Party of Kenya, however, recognizes the ongoing efforts by the Government to arrest the spread of infection of the Virus, and in particular commends the actions of the healthcare workers who in spite of the possible risks, are determined to ensure that they play their role to mitigate the risks to the masses.

According to Mr. Omole, the party welcomes the Government’s warning to business people that they should not take advantage of the current situation to make more profits by increasing the prices of basic commodities.

“The Government itself would have ensured that the working class and the masses continue accessing these commodities at favorable prices. Surrendering the provision of services to the private sector compromises both the implementation and standards of these services both in normal times and in times of crisis. The capitalists will always be inspired by profits and not the well-being of the people,” Mr. Omole emphasized.

In the long run, Kenyans must demand the realization of National Values and Principles of Governance as espoused in Article 10 of our Constitution which in essence calls for socialism.

the country needs to implement Article 43 of the Constitution to the fullest. For those not privy to it, the Article demands that every Kenyan must have decent housing; clean and safe water; adequate and nutritious food; access to the highest standards of health and healthcare; access to social security; and access to education.

The Corona Virus has reminded humanity that our fate is interconnected and that inequality is a threat to everyone.