President Magufuli’s response to the current coronavirus crisis has been far from exemplary. Some of his actions, like urging pubs to throw post-coronavirus parties and firing those who question his bizarre remedies for COVID-19, could actually put the lives of thousands of Tanzanians at risk.
Trumpism in the age of coronavirus may be gasoline poured onto the fire of a worldwide catastrophe in bizarre ways that are only beginning to be spelled out now, but which could have dire ramifications globally, including in East Africa.
The advantages of governments pursuing policies that are based on scientific evidence cannot be disputed. However, listening to the science does not automatically mean shutting down society and the economy.
The economic hardship aggravated by COVID-19 and the mistreatment of Kenyans in China have re-opened old wounds among the Kikuyu, who are now questioning whether Uhuru Kenyatta was really the right choice for president.
Even though Europe and the United States are now the epicentres of the coronavirus pandemic, global media organisations are trying hard to portray the crisis as an African problem. Meanwhile, governments are using the crisis to wage propaganda wars.
The coronavirus pandemic will end but without strong public services, Uganda will remain vulnerable to the next epidemic, pandemic or extreme climate event. The health, water and sanitation and all other sectors must be transformed into robust, life-enhancing government services.
Kenyans were already struggling with tough economic conditions and political tensions when COVID-19 appeared. Lockdowns and dwindling incomes have now made their lives much more difficult, even as they pray for the virus to be vanquished.
Perhaps, it won’t take much longer before the country knows whether the mandatory quarantine strategy helped spread or stop COVID-19.
History, again, seems to be repeating itself. A system of government established in a constitution is in danger of being radically changed for the benefit of politicians. But this is not new, argues Prof. Yash Pal Ghai. In fact, a peer into the history of constitution-making in Kenya reveals a tendency of the political class to subvert theses processes for their own benefit.
The up and downstream impact of the proposed Stiegler’s Gorge Dam depends on its completion, which is by no means guaranteed, but the Selous Game Reserve is already counting the costs.