Uhuru Must Re-Open Churches, Businesses - Senator Demands [VIDEO]

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation at State House, Nairobi, in April 2020
    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation at State House, Nairobi, in April 2020
  • Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala on Tuesday, May 5 spoke to Kenyans.co.ke breaking down his thoughts on the approach Kenya should take in responding to Covid-19.

    With confirmed cases in the country standing at 490 as of May 4, with 20 fatalities and 174 recoveries, Malala insisted that it was time for the economy to begin re-opening, calling for the lifting of a number of government measures.

    In particular, Malala called for churches and mosques to be allowed to open while complying with social distancing regulations, citing the crucial role they play in the spiritual nourishment of society.

    Although the country has been recording confirmed cases in the double-digits since following the introduction of mass testing, Malala insisted that it was time for the country to get back to work.

    File image of Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala.

    He argued that people could be prevailed upon to strictly observe measures meant to combat the spread of Covid-19, including wearing face-masks and constantly sanitizing their hands.

    "This Corona thing is here to stay, we need to find a way to survive during this period. Let us resume other activities including opening churches and mosques because fellowshipping together plays a big part in the spiritual nourishment of our people.

    "They can observe all the directives, including sitting 1.5 metres apart and limiting the maximum number of church services that can be held in one day.

    "Surely, if you can trust a drunkard with following the safety regulations for Covid-19 how can we deny the same for worshippers? he posed, alluding to a recent government directive that allowed the re-opening of restaurants which also serve alcohol.

    Malala claimed that the Coronavirus would be around for a long time and Kenyans would, therefore, have to adjust to life with it, comparing it with Malaria which kills millions more in Africa every year.

    "I think we should start going back to normalcy and learn how to operate in this era of Coronavirus. We need a gradual lifting of the measures imposed by the government.

    "We've lost around 20 people so far, Malaria kills so many more people. We should simply start going back to normal and let people take precautionary measures while going about their businesses," he insisted.

    Malala observed that the impact of the pandemic on small businesses had been dire, with many closing down or downsizing.

    With the closure of several markets and rules on social distancing, small-scale traders have also felt the pinch with many left without an income.

    Around the world, different nations have been considering various timelines for the re-opening of businesses and lifting of lockdown measures, with protests witnessed in the United States from citizens calling for the lifting of the lockdown.

    Closer home, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday, May 5 announced the partial lifting of lockdown measures announced in March, even as he urged Ugandans to continue wearing masks and observing precautionary measures.

    "The virus may move in the population in spite of all these measures. When it moves in the population slowly, according to our scientists, it is actually good because we get manageable numbers of infected people at any given time, whom we treat until they get healed, like the 55 that have healed now.

    "With the immunity of these people, they now become a type of fire-break for the virus. When the virus comes to them, they can no longer be infected by the virus and the emponoka (the survivors) can no longer transmit it," his statement read in part.

    Watch a video from a press conference by Malala below: