The communist party of Kenya (CPK) has called on the Kenyan government to do more to protect health  rights of all Kenyans during the Covid 19 pandemic

Following the public health prevention and protection measures against the spread of the Corona Virus (Covid-19) that the Government announced on 15th March 2020, the secretary general , Benedict Wachira , suspended major Party affairs including the sub-county and study circle meetings across the Country for the recommended 14 days.

During pandemics and crisis of such magnitude, it is the working class and masses that suffer the most. This suffering is not accidental; it is because the capitalist system is designed that way.

According to Booker Ngesa Omole, who is the vice Chairperson and National Organizing Secretary of CPK , the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the poverty of  neo-liberal capitalist idea that the Kenyan society needs more and more of the private sector and less and less of state sector in  daily running of the economy.”

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

“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 commodities.”, opined Omole

CPK 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  possible risks, are determined to ensure that they play their role to mitigate risks to the masses.

Indeed, the Competition Authority of Kenya and other Government agencies have already taken punitive and criminal action against some of these profiteers.However, the party feels a lot needs to be done, both in short and long term. The short term measures must include:

1. Proper sensitization of the masses on the prevention and detection of Corona Virus. A majority of Kenyans are still not aware of what they can do to minimize the risk of being infected with the Virus. Many more do not know what the symptoms of the virus are, beyond the normal coughing.

2. Workers should be protected from profit-obsessed bosses and their organisations. The government must give strict orders to employers to ensure that their workers get full pay during this uncertain period. Workers should also be protected from any threats of suspension or termination from their jobs. The current position against hiking the prices of consumer goods should continue.

3.The distinction between private hospitals and the public hospitals must be eliminated. Any person within Kenyan borders should be able to receive treatment at the nearest hospital to them, without being threatened with costs.

4. Insurance Companies should be put on notice. The speculation going round that health insurance companies will not cover Covid-19 treatment should be combated, and any insurance company that attempts not to pay must face extreme punitive measures. This is not a period to protect profits and cause panic among Kenyans.

5.The Government should ensure uninterrupted water supply especially in the cities, and it should take up the responsibility of ensuring that public service transportation, public eateries and all public places meet the required standards of sanitation.

6.The Police should now only arrest persons who commit serious crimes, and must desist from arresting petty and small crimes suspects. Some of the senior police officers are now taking advantage of the lock-down of the Judiciary to extort money from innocent Kenyans who are being threatened with trumped up charges. This is not only criminal and immoral, but it also counters the ongoing efforts to curb the spread of the virus since we all know the conditions of police vehicles and police cells.

7.Any financial protection that the government offers must be channeled to State entities and towards the workers and the masses, and not to the private companies that make super-profits every passing year.

The Communist Party of Kenya wants Kenyans to rise up, join the Communist Party and work together to destroy capitalism as they participate in building a world socialist order.

By By Henix Obuchunju

Multimedia journalist

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