Has Kenya and Africa dodged the Covid19 bullet? My gut feel tells me Yes but let’s be cautious . Danger still lurks .

If Africa is not able to test , test & test  then mortality rate vould be a fair measure

When the Covid 19 virus was first reported by WHO we all thought it will be contained and it will remain in China or at most a few neighbouring countries to China. We became all agitated as Southern China flight continued to ply the Nbi route and our very own national carrier .

Can we undo the gains ? Is the risk still present? Well sadly answer is again yes .

Well the virus never reached us via China but one of our own returning Kenyan via London followed immediately by another Kenyan via USA.

I am not here to delve into history but it is important we reflect as we plan ahead.

Firstly I wish to congratulate and thank H.E The President for the swift action in tackling Covid. The appointment of C.S Kagwe infused new life in to the health ministry which was in the news more often for all the wrong reasons and he is certainly the right man for the job and he came in at the right time.

Folks we were facing a strange virus and it is still is so. It is always best to take extreme measures as opposed to trying to take action when things are already out of control .

Suspension of flights was the right move then as much as we were shocked by that swift action.

Closure of airports led to no arrivals and hotels and resorts had to close by default , a position never imagined it would happen. As I write this tourism and entire economy is belly up.

Schools and learning institutions were also closed followed by places of worship be it a mosque a churches or a temples since leading holy sites like Mecca and Vatican all closed shop and it was the right thing to do.

Curfew followed and I think this really helped to slow down the Infection rate as we never knew much about the virus , then cessation movement of Nbi and Msa was also key.

Now what next ?

Two days ago we were warned that August & September will be Infection peak and that was not the kind of News we wanted to hear considering that we are all feeling the impact of closures in our business and life . A day later H.E came out with a more reassuring position in that we cannot remain under lockdown for ever. He reckons we need to reopen but the big question is the how . He was also very clear that responsibility will then shift to you and I. We must keep an eye on August and September, we must respect the experts.

Since we now understand the virus better .

80% of infected persons heal without any medical intervention while a very small % get hospitalised and even fewer end up in using ventilators.

While we lag behind in testing we now need to look at Morbidity Vs Mortality. You may have the virus but may not die from it. It looks like Kenya and Africa is a beneficiary so is Japan and even UK where 80% of the mortality are people over the age of 60.

While morbidity may not be visible we cannot hide or cover mortality . So far we have lost 51 Kenyans and half of those fatalities had underlying conditions while a huge % have recovered . From this it looks like we dogged the Covid 19 bullet . It could be our huge youth population , could be our diet , could be our immune system … well jury still out there but also don’t we rule out divine hand in this since most of us are believers.

It was predicated that by end April Kenya would have 10,000 cases and Africa would hit 500,000 and above. From one of the graphs on mortality same days after 1st case was reportered in Kenya we are at 51 while places like Italy , USA and UK were all past the 10,000 mark in mortality

Now what is the way forward , well please allow me to share my 10 points

  1. We must double our efforts to sanitize . Wash hands and sanitise . Even ordinary flu has taken a hiding .
  2. We must continue to wear masks esp in public space.
  3. Temperature checks at public places before entry. In case if anything above 37.5 means you are denied entry and report made to Covid centre.
  4. Social distancing must continue if anything let’s up the game go physical distancing. Kenyans we are quite poor with this. Don’t get too close.
  5. Lift the cessation order affecting Nbi. Mombasa. Kwale and Kilifi
  6. Review the curfew hours to 9pm. 7pm meant leaving offices at 3pm go beat traffic. This is key, completely lifting means we will go back to partying like Covid was in town for a period . Folks Covid is now in community transmission stage and the last thing we want is to undo all the gains of the last three months
  7. Worship houses be it a church , mosque or temple should continue to remain closed. Christians missed Easter. Muslims missed many Friday’s and entire Ramadhan and Eid . If we sacrificed all that we can wait a bit longer . Social distancing in religious places is hard to implement besides you can pray to your God from anywhere. Holy Makka and The Vatican both remain closed so our clergy pushing for reopening may have to go next door Tanzania.
  8. Schools remain closed but allow consider candidates to go back as we cautiously test the waters .
  9. Reopen the airports with strict clear protocols. Copy from Dubai , Singapore and China on how they have done it . Slowly we start reopening the economy

10.Consider lifting the lockdown in Old Town and Eastleigh. Continued lockdown negatively affects immune system . There is even a bigger worry that anyone coming out of a lockdown could be susceptible to opportunistic Infections. To my folks in Eastleigh and Old Town I hope that was learning curve. Let us listen to the experts and authorities .

Finally I appeal to all my fellow Kenyans , when the conditions are relaxed it does not mean it’s time to party and act reckless. You may have spared yourself and family Covid 19 only to contract it while choosing to enjoy and having fun late hours at some place

The choice is yours but keep in mind that virus does not move , people do. Move in a responsible way to help us flatten the curve . H.E equally made it very clear . Relaxing the conditions is a matter of when and not if but are we ready ?

As always I choose to remain an optimist as we navigate this uncharted waters of Covid 19.

I believe we shall overcome .

Stay safe with your loved ones.

Let me know what are your thoughts ? Let us engage .

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasaa

Our fresh produce farmers need protection from cartels

Open Letter to CS Munya. Governor Joho & Major Badi

Early this week I posted my usual piece on my FB. I came across loads of feedback . I use FB to gauge the mood of the people on any topic and I decided to focus reports that price of onions have doubled even tripled because TZ was our key source . Since the border closure for passengers by Kenya , then TZ decided that even cargo won’t be allowed and suddenly the impact of lack of some farm produce including onions was felt as far as farm rich zones like Nyeri and Embu.

Our hard-working farmers are asking for protection from cartels NOT handouts .Farming is sheer hardwork, I was brought up on a farm so I know what it means . CS Munya you reined your guns on the cartels in the tea & maize industry please we need you to turn those guns to cartels who frustrate fresh produce farmers who are now choosing to abandon farming all together

In Mombasa I took time to speak to traders at Kongowea market and the stuff I was told shocked me it was even worse at Wakulima market in Nbi where cartels call the shots .

While farm inputs in Kenya are taxed like there is no tommorow Uganda and TZ is the opposite . We cannot tax ourselves to prosperity and that is one basic economic lesson that our govemrnet must understand. A time will come when there is no one to tax.

As a farmer you may have overcome all the hurdles only to be confronted by bloody cartels at Kongowea and even bigger mafia at Wakulima market .

Two of the chaps who supply hotels told me how each produce has its own bunch of gangs. There is a specific cartel for tomatoes , potatoes , cabbages etc
He said despite trading at Kongowea for the past 30 years he cannot bring a lorry of tomatoes from his farm from up country without a clearance from the cartels . If you dare do that ” Utakula tomato yako”.

Surely are we wartorn country ? We allow thugs to control the supply chain ? They wait at the tail end to take the cream . Our county inspectorate and askaris will pounce on you on flimsy grounds but allow thugs to rule the fresh produce market . A policeman will be ruthless when they find a Kenyan on street rushing to get home to beat the curfew timings . Where are they when it comes to this ? How can we brag to be a land of rule of law ?

My contact told me how a cartel member will walk into Kongowea with Ksh100 Bob but walk out with Ksh20,000 because they also steal openly from the traders . He recalls a female relative who brought 3000 cabbages but she could not account for 600 pcs and she was left holding less revenue compared to what she had invested . She cried all evening and she never came back to Kongowea. These thugs roam the markets and will angle for a fight if you don’t play ball and they love chaos and half of your delivery will disappear into thin air. The traders find it safer to pay them for “protection” . This should NEVER have been allowed to happen in the first place.

To my President , let’s not aim for bigger things in our Agenda 4 Agriculture when we cannot even protect our hard working fresh produce farmers.

My contact says it’s Pain Pain Pain . Many young farmers have decided never again and that is the reason we are left at the mercy of TZ and UG supplies.

We have failed our farmers . They are not asking for free handouts . They are only asking for protection from these leeches .

I leave you with this quote ” Once in life you need a doctor , lawyer , a policeman or a preacher but everyday , three times a day you need a farmer”

Please join me to applaud our farmers and it’s about time we protect them from these cartels .

As always I choose to remain an optimist

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa

Tourism and travel business in Post Covid19 will not be easy but opportunities abound

On 31st December 2019 like any end year the world erupted in fireworks as we saw off 2019 to usher in a new year and quite special one for that matter with identical numbers of 2020. The last time such a year was observed was over a century ago as the world marked a year after the end of the First World War in 1919. Globally we were all very positive and we looked forward to a great year both in business and travel trade so was Kenya and East Africa.

That same day as families gathered around to see off 2019, in far flung China in Wuhan capital city of Hubei province something strange was going on which ordinarily would not have been considered anything unusual. The Chinese authorities had made a report to W.H.O offices in China of a new type of coronavirus which was finally isolated on 7 January 2020. We finally came to know it as Covid19 which is Corona Virus December 2019. China has had its fair share of virus outbreaks thanks to all the wet markets but they have always managed to keep it under control but this time round it was not going to be the case.

We saw off 2019 to usher in a new year
quite special one for that matter with identical numbers of 2020.

Little did we know that in less than 100 days our lives would completely change from Antigua to Zimbabwe, from Fiji to Alaska from the North Pole to the South Pole entire globe way of life would be disrupted . The virus moved swiftly faster than a savanna wild bush fire across. Thanks to ease of air travel it spread so fast that the world was left shell shocked. It reached Europe where Italy and Spain bore the brunt of deaths followed by UK and USA. The virus checked in into each and every country and the few who claimed to be virus free was mainly due to lack of testing as opposed to real absence of the virus. Within few weeks virus had landed on each and every continent. It was now official Covid19 was on even terrorists took a break.

The impact of the deadly virus was fast and furious , first to suffer was travel where unimaginable events started to happen with nations closing their airspace and airline announcing flights cancellations as nations started to evacuate their citizens from all corners of the world to go back home. Hotels suddenly emptied and as holiday makers cut short their stays while forward bookings were left in abeyance.

The virus checked in into each and every country. The few who claimed to be virus free was mainly due to lack of testing as opposed to real absence of the virus.

As I write this piece close to four months after the official announcement of Covid19 at a wet market in Wuhan the global disruption to trade not to mention tourism has been staggering. All passenger airlines are grounded and suddenly aircraft parking space became a challenge and in some cases some aircrafts took up parking slots meant for cars. On the other hand 90% of hotels and resorts around the world closed shop a scenario never ever seen before let alone ever imagined. The world is still shell shocked as we try to come to terms with new terminologies like social distancing, isolation, contact tracing, quarantine and wearing of masks which is now considered the new normal and now part of our wardrobe until further notice.

Within few weeks virus had landed on each and every continent. It was now official Covid19 was on even terrorists took a break.

While medics around the world continue to battle the virus and scientists race against time to develop a vaccine how will Post Covid-19 travel look like?

Trust me it will be one tedious journey. It will be time consuming and a lot of things we took for granted will have to change. Any tourism player who thinks that we will simply go back to our usual normal world of pre Dec 31st 2019 is grossly mistaken. It will be a whole new world that is now referred to as New Normal. Travel and tourism will turn out to be expensive in the beginning more so before a vaccine or treatment is found. Travel will only be for the brave and those with deep pockets.

How will the new world of tourism look like?

While historically yellow fever certificate made us pull hair, just imagine a Covid-19 free certificate. While you may have the certificate you may be tested before you board and once you arrive at your destination you are again tested at the airport before you are allowed final entry. Imagine a family of 4 where one of them turns positive? Very few people would have the mental strength to deal with such uncertainties in the short to mid-term especially after the isolation, job losses and other mental strains they have undergone. The world will be faced with a terrified populace.

International travel would take longer and people will opt for shorter trips within their own countries which are simpler to avoid Covid-19 tests and can be booked in advance or last minute. This is real and presents a danger that we need to be weary of as East Africans. Our source market of UK, Europe like Italy and Spain, USA have all borne the brunt of the virus. It will take them a long time before they gain the confidence of flying out to another country let alone another continent.

While a vaccine may help to reduce the post Covid-19 troubles but treatment is the ultimate solution. In the absence of a treatment which has to be both affordable and available it means borders will be opened and closed in a flash. The paranoia of governments and border patrols will outweigh the needs of a few to have a vacation. Several countries are already taking bills to their parliament to bar their nationals from flying abroad for remaining part of 2020. They are adopting a wait and see attitude. Therefore we could be seeing opening and closing of countries, airports and borders for a period of time. With concerns of second and third waves of the virus governments will not be too eager and quick to open their countries and welcome foreign travellers in.

Airlines bring in tourists and with depressed air travel tourism will struggle to bounce back. Air travel cost is dictated by volumes and for a while air travel will go back to the sixties and seventies mode where air travel was for the elite and only a small segment will afford to take to the skies.

A vaccine may help to reduce the post Covid-19 troubles but
treatment is the ultimate solution

East Africa as a destination, I am afraid only a vaccine and treatment will allow long haul charters to resume more so for the beach destination of Zanzibar and Mombasa ( Kenya Coast ). Charters are mass market and where every seat not sold means lost margin for the charter operator. If airlines are to operate at 50% capacity it will prove to be very expensive and that will be one nail into the coffin of charter business. The same shall apply even on local flights, last minute hops will no longer be affordable with aircrafts flying at half capacity as much as you are all masked. Filling the aircraft with 6 to 9 adults in one row will disappear for some time as airlines are forced to implement social distancing in the air. It will mean higher prices for tickets and this will carve a niche for those with disposable income and likely to be the upper and upper middle class which is a relative proportion of the travellers that visit East Africa.

In the international market the era of jumping into an aircraft and heading off in less than seven days will be gone. Couples, families and other travellers will think numerous times prior to booking the trip due to the uncertainty prevailing across the world.

Many of our potential clients will have been furloughed and others will have been made redundant. Holidays will be the last thing on their mind. Financial woes will be priority and governments will reduce the support measures, meaning everyone have to support themselves. With economies depressed, it will take time for those without work to secure income and consider travel. We will emerge with complete uncertainty and unknown as to what the future will hold. What was the norm will no longer be the norm with people thinking about holidays. Priority will be welfare, source of income and many will still be dealing with the loss of loved ones they never even managed to see on their death beds as they battled the virus let alone lay them to rest.

Virtual Meetings

In this Covid19 crisis the world discovered that virtual meeting indeed works. In new normal don’t be surprised to see conference and meetings becoming a reserve for local players while international delegates will join via the myriad video conferencing channels. It means hotels and resort as venues must invest in state of the art video conferencing equipment backed by strong reliable bandwidth to stream the conference without the frequent annoying buffering.

Fancy Buffets & Mass Dinning
Will have to take a time out

Hotel dining will have to change in the short term where social distancing will have to be practiced. It means buffet and mass food display will be gone for a while to avoid the risk of infection where a serving spoon is handled by many diners at a hotel buffet set up. In the short term expect pre-plated food taking place of buffets and in room dining becoming more popular with breakfast and dinner. This will mean higher labour cost for hotels while a substantial investment will also be required in hardware not to mention the staff training to handle quality reliable in room dining. The resorts and hotels that continue with buffet set ups means level of hygiene will be upped to give confidence to any diner that chance of infection is not only reduced but next to zero.

For those who dare book a safari be prepared for masked guests and driver guides. At every lodge where they check in they better be prepared for thermometer temperature checks and constant sanitization where nothing is left to chance. In reality going on safari will be one of the most therapeutic treatments after all the stressful lengthy lockdowns. Due to the pain of arranging for travel don’t be surprised to get lengthy stays hence the correct pricing and attractive pricing will also play out. Africa lodges and camps can easily replace the cruise ship holidays that will be considered to carry a higher risk due to the nature of enclosed shared services, that will only happen if we reinvent ourselves.

Ease of booking and cancelation policy will dictate future travel and immediate recovery. Travellers will only take the risk of travel when they are pretty sure that they can cancel with no penalties and if there is penalty then it is reasonable amount as opposed to complete loss of their funds like what used to happen in the pre-covid19 good times. The destination that choose to be flexible are the ones the ones that will bounce back. Rigid destination will take a very long time to recover and if they are not careful will be slowly writing their obituary.

In reality going on safari will be one of the most therapeutic treatments after all the stressful lengthy lockdowns. African lodges and camps can easily replace the cruise ship holidays that will be considered to carry a higher risk due to the nature of enclosed shared services.

The next 18 months will not be easy. Survival will be crucial in the short to mid-term 6 to 12 months. It is said “ it is NOT what happened to you that matters it is how you respond to it that matters most”. We shall overcome, but how long it will take and what we will need to do to survive is the million dollar question.

Domestic tourism will start to come back first, followed by regional travel hence Africa must make it easy for our people to travel within the continent. Europe has done well because of the open borders and free visa between the 23 Schengen states same goes for the GCC member states. Africa is still closed and it is even easier for an international visitor to enter Africa as opposed to a fellow African. Open borders must also be supported by a working and efficient aviation sector.

African countries have never been great in running airlines save for Ethiopian airlines. I hope and pray that South African Airways SAA gets out of ICU while my very own Kenya Airways KQ also finds its way out of High Dependency unit (HDU) so to speak. With the likes of RwandAir, Tanzania Airways and Uganda Airways all taking to the skies we pray and hope they stay healthy in the air to make the intra Africa travel a reality. Aviation is expensive business which requires serious financial discipline and good governance which sadly is alien to Africa hence African countries must consider merging their airlines to create a few well run airlines in the new normal post-covid19 .

While hotel investors have management agreement with known leading hotel chains it is high time African countries tapped into the expertise and staying power of Ethiopia Airlines who are the undisputed kings of African skies. They fly shoulder to shoulder with well-established global brands. Ethiopian Airlines (74) is tried and tested and it is the oldest airline in Africa even older than British Airways (46) and Lufthansa (67), Singapore (48) Emirates (35) and Kenya Airways (43).

It is high time African countries tapped into the expertise and staying power of Ethiopia Airlines who are the undisputed kings of African skies.

We should not shy off to tap into skills of Ethiopian airlines by signing lease and management agreements with them. Africa does not have the luxury of time in post –covid19 and it is no time for African countries to pretend that they can run an airline when they could not do it for more than half a century since independence. Let Ethiopian connect the African continent and we all give them all freedom rights while each country will then focus on domestic flights where Ethiopian will again help each country to set up domestic airlines to sharpen their competitive age. Imagine for once the bulk purchasing power of Africa from an aviation point of view. What is the use of flying to some far flung country only to make a loss and seek frequent state bailouts. To massage our egos that we own an airline is pretty useless when an airline turns out to be a bottom less pit where good money is lost after bad money year in year out.

On the international scene as a destination be it Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda or Rwanda our strategy for recovery needs to be focussed on mid to long term considering the state of the world post Covid-19. We cannot expect a quick recovery and we will compete against hundreds of other destinations 110 + destination as a minimum where many of them receive government funding and support. We therefore need to have a cautious approach as to what we plan for the future in terms of rates, conditions and these will help define our return back to relative volumes. It will be a long road and we must work closely together as partners with give and take in the hope that we return to our strong volumes of the past.

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman

Kenya Tourism Federation and Group Director Of Operations Pollmans Tours & Safaris . Kenya .

END

Cut Melinda Gates some slack , direct that anger to our thieving hands in Africa

Folks I finally managed to watch the clip where Melinda talks about Africa and the covid19 crisis . It is a long interview but a clip is embedded here .

I was initially upset but listening to her again and again I just don’t think she is wishing Africa death.

She is worried about the folks in the slums , where social distancing is an alien term where running water is non existent. Melinda has been to more slums in Africa than many of us .

The Gates foundation have supported many charities across Africa including my own Kenya . Bill Gates has played a big role in fighting malaria and polio in Africa and he succeeded in doing that . I am a Rotarian and he is our main donor who has helped us defeat polio and that is a fact that cannot be wished away .

Folks I wish we could get upset as much with the thieving leaders in Africa who deny the masses the benefits of the taxes we pay.

This morning in the Daily Nation paper Bungoma county paid Ksh10,000 $100 for liquid soap that costs Ksh1400 $14 and paid cash Ksh 6.9M. Now those are the shameless thieving hands we ought to be upset about NOT Melinda who is only expressing her worries and she is entitled to it.

How will our own dying in the slums going to help the bank balance of Gates foundation ?

God willing we will not see mass deaths like Ecuador but fact remains we stole the money that was meant to fix our healthcare system. Right here we are on record buying overpriced useless containers and then buying expensive health equipment that are rotting and gathering dust . African leaders used to fly out at the slightest hint of illness not anymore . We are stuck here together.

Let’s turn our anger there NOT Melinda .

As Africans we must be candid with ourselves. When we get called out we are quick to play the racial card. We are very quick to play victim on how the colonialist raped Africa . Folks we have been in charge of our lives for the past six decades. Time to cut out the excuses.

It is a fact that have failed the vulnerable in society and suddenly Covid19 has levelled the playing field and none of us is immune.

Right here in Kenya we have more MP’s and senators than ICU beds even if we added the ones in private hospitals as well. As Africans we must get our priorities right . Any attempt to play racial card sounds like a broken record . Please it is about time we got sincere with ourselves.

Tupambane Na Hali Yetu

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa. Kenya

Dear Kenyan MP, please come back from Utopia

Dear MPs ,

Please get down from your ivory tower and get real.

Firstly as Kenyans we are NOT indebted to you if anything we helped many of you find decent jobs and in addition to that a Mheshimiwa title. Please can you for once think and act like real Mheshimiwas.

Allow me to educate you .

KRA collect taxes and in turn Treasury will then share what has been collected. If you care to read newspapers and follow the news many companies are closing down and export like flowers and horticulture is now dead. Tourism is also dead when no one can come here. Close to 40 hotels have suspended operations including many in Nairobi , most of the lodges closed and coast is not any better. Diaspora cannot send any more bucks , they are also fighting to remain alive and here you are behaving like some spoilt brat.

When businesses that generate taxes that pay your salaries are closed where do you expect money will come from ? Why do you behave so ignorant of what is going on ? If you think I am making a blanket condemnation then I dare you to step out and support the salary reductions, In the absence of that it is clear you are all united in greed and it is high time we called you out.

You have HUGE loans to pay , bla bla bla. Who told you going to parliament is where you buy a palatial home to be paid in under 5 years ? Oh some of you claim that loads of deductions take away your pay. It is clear you choose to live beyond your means . You are breaking the same law you make where an employee should not take home less than a third of their pay. It is now clear why corruption will not end in this country when you live beyond your means.

Even Wanjiku who sent you to that August house has a Fuliza to service and she is dealing with her woes.

Going to parliament or Senate is a calling , it is NOT some get rich quick plan. You should not expect to do all the things you wanted to do in under 5 years that is greed and lack of planning . If that was your intention then you are in the wrong place. Come and join us in the private sector or come run your business and see if it is any easier.

Instead of helping the Executive you are busy digging in on why you cannot take a pay cut.

This Saturday you earn yourself a huge barb, for those of you who my friends as long as you fly with the same flock you are not any better and greed is the common denominator.

Step out and take a paycut only then will you earn back your Mheshimiwa title.

This time we say Shame On You

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa

If we are to go lockdown let’s give it a human face more so for the urban vulnerable poor.

Dear Fellow Kenyans,

To defeat this global Covid19 crisis we now need to start thinking of lockdown. It is only a matter of when and not if.

For a smooth lockdown we must get a few things right to make it a success more so to help the vulnerable urban poor.

Firstly many of the urban poor have already left Nairobi and big towns for their rural homes. While middle class Kenyans can stock on dry goods and fill their fridges ordinary folks live hand to mouth. They WALK everyday from Kibera.Likoni. Kisauni etc to go to town to earn a daily earning to help them see another day hence the small packaging that many firms developed and dubbed kadogo economy.

Now we are quite good with Nyumba Kumi and this is where Huduma data should come in handy , we should map all the informal settlements and supply them with basic ration and fresh water. The daily needs by our brothers and sisters in these informal settlements is bare minimum. We just need to be considerate and practice some compassion. If GOK with support from private sector , Kenya Red Cross and well wishers worked together we can get them a ration to last them 21 days then another 21 days if need be as we attempt to break the corona infection chain and flatten the curve. We can then give lockdown a human face .

Announcing a lockdown without a plan for these folks we will be playing with fire. It is said a hungry man is an angry man. Let us not get there.

I believe GOK has the financial muscle to do that and as private sector will join in and we will then be good to go for lockdown. Private sector has the distribution network while GOK have the data of the people.

If India a nation of 1.3 Billion people has announced 21days lockdown I believe we can also do it with our 50Million population. Sierra Leone defeated Ebola with a lockdown but they made sure the poor folks also got basic ration to sustain them .

Time is of the essence and we need to move fast to avoid finding ourselves playing catch up.

Finally to my fellow Kenyans if you returned in the last two weeks you should be in self quarantine. This is NOT a holiday . Please stay at home. We have already reported adults who simply don’t care.

To our goverment you will NOT walk alone majority have your back, please don’t relent . You have our full support , The Kenyans who ignore the rules please get firm , tough and ruthless.

Folks Corona is here , it’s fight or flight . We cannot afford the latter we must fight and give it a TKO. I believe we can and as always I choose to remain an optimist.

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa .

Corona Virus is testing our faith , testing our way of life . It’s disrupting everything.

This was my prayer corner today with a small mat enough for just one , a Friday a big day for Muslims many of us were left to say prayers on our own.

Corona is testing our faith, corona is testing our way of life , corona is disrupting everything .

Mosques started to limit acess to the ablution blocks , we were asked to prepare at home before you get to the mosue to reduce the risk and finally the mosques were closed today . Jamia Mosque in the heart of Nairobi CBD closed two days ago.

Muslim we are expected to pray five times a day , for men it is recommended you go to the mosque and join a congregation on the other hand women are allowed pray at home. Today I was on my own and we could not even join as colleagues at the office so that we comply with social distancing . Folks we are officially in uncharted waters.

According to my faith you are supposed to self isolate if you are suffering from an infectious disease. I believe same applies to other faiths including our strong African culture.

Vatican home to the Catholic faith complied weeks ago while home to my faith Makka has virtually closed down we then have some ” religious leaders ” in Kenya chest thumping that they will not close . Well any such ignorant person is a danger to his followers that is certainly not a Mosque a Church Or Temple that is a cult. Please run away .

While World Health Organisation has virtually written off Africa we may just surprise the world by defeating this virus , please let us surprise the world.

To our CS Mutahi Kagwe Asante Sana for bringing sanity to such a key docket. You have led from the front from Day 1. To GOK keep up the good work . We are together in this .

To my friend Mzee Francis Atwoli Ebs Corona is not a child’s play . Even super powers are running helter skelter. You claim we cant stand a lock down please note we are almost there and maximum respect to Kenyans who are listening to their goverment . Last evening I walked into City Mall Mombasa and a guard whipped a thermometer gun to check my temperature and sanitizer on the side then security check . You have a huge following please guide them wisely. Sierra Leone and Liberia went into lockdown to defeat deadly Ebola lest you forgotten . They are poorer than us.

Back to my prayer corner it is now you and your God. It’s time to reflect hard , entire world is coming to a halt. Everyone is rushing back home, if we had a choice where to die everyone would choose home . It is human nature . Airlines are all looking for parking space , stock exchanges are collapsing but I am also optimistic that we shall overcome but first this is a true test for any believer. We are NOTHING . We can invent Everything but some invisible bug has made us equal.

While we are believers the same teachings also support science so anyone who says science alone is enough is lost. We combine prayers with science . Did someone say …..Titanic was UNSINKABLE

Fact: If you caught the virus today Mbagathi awaits you and it you are to die from it I don’t think Lee Funeral will accept your body . That is the reality check.

Folks as we head to a weekend please take good care of yourself with your loved ones . Please choose to act responsible.

As always I choose to remain an optimist that Allah will guide us to overcome this unseen dangerous virus.

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa
Kenya

We must enforce social distancing at the ferry crossing Mombasa.

I have heard more noise than solution on how to control the huge numbers of people crossing the ferry on foot where social distancing is ignored.

Best Illustrations on social distance

My simple solution .

1. Let them queue,  maintaining the required one metre gap. The queue can stretch as far back as Pandya Hospital Roundabout.

On Likoni side the same queue system shall apply stretching towards Shelly Beach Road.

There should be no more holding of pedestrians at the yard to avoid any potential spread of virus . It will be a queue and they will maintain the same social distancing in the ferry.

We have National Youth Service who can implement this with ease. Don’t bring armed police . Masses detest being forced . Teach them why this is important.

2. Suspend the use of the old ferry that does not have a sitting area. The notorious old ferry where pedestrians are packed like sardines while standing  should be stopped ferrying pedestrians

3. Consider spraying the passenger ferry before loading again. A team is kept ready to do that to avoid delays

Anyone asking us to stop ferry crossing, they think that people who cross this channel do it for pleasure but again some of those leaders making such calls are ignorant, forgive them, they don’t know.

I hope and trust my Bro Bakari Gowa will consider this simple ideas.

Mohammed Hersi

You have served your term , please go home.

A big NO to set up of Regional Goverments.

What is Devolution ?

What is the current county goverment ?

Is this NOT Majimbo?

Why would anyone create another layer of regional representation?

If coast is to go that direction then Rift Valley will also ask for maybe 6 regions, Nyanza will follow then Nairobi will also demand to be divided into regions.

Folks let’s get real. We must stop creating offices that serve individual interest as and when . Kenya is already struggling big time with the current county goverments. It’s just too expensive to maintain , on the other hand many counties were better off under the municipality and county councils I dare say that . Bad roads, terrible garbage management, struggling Medicare etc is now the norm . Look at your capital city .

Folks globally if you’ve served your term as a senator, governor, MP even President please don’t insist to hang around , that office is NOT oxygen you won’t die. If it’s withdrawal syndrome fear factor no worries we can afford to fund some counselling sessions . Trust me ordinary life has its beauty .

Let other Kenyans also serve and let Barack Obama inspire you. He is still energetic having led the most powerful nation on earth and he is now enjoying life and speaking engagements. There is life more than a public office besides when we agreed on a term there was a reason.

Please go home and chill and don’t insist on creating a new office that does not exist. If you desire a higher office then run for President and fight for it .

Well as always in my small way I do influence thoughts and if this will be part of the referendum I will vote NO but I still choose to remain an optimist that sense will prevail.

I say a BIG NO to Regional Goverment.

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa

GOK. You truly let down our young sportsmen and women*

Waking up to Shujaa Team beating South Africa is so refreshing . 36 / 14 is NO MEAN achievement.

At Rugby Sevens , we have lost to South Africa most of the time if not all the time .

Truth be said , our sportsmen and women really do us proud despite the bad treatment they receive . When you look at the pitch where our rugby players train it is like a grazing field , imagine if we gave them the facilities .

Our female football national team against all odds almost qualified for the Olympics . I have now seen that five of them have landed professional playing careers in Portugal. Cyprus & Sweden. Do you know what it means to the family of those poor girls?

Harambee Starlets

What about our Volleyball team ? Against all odds they beat rest of Africa to qualify for the Olympics . Again several of them have landed professional contracts in Europe. Do the people who manage sports in this country know what that means to those poor girls ? One of them lives in a mud hut grass thatched and that is in 2020. That young lady will now be able to uplift the lives of her family and her other siblings .

Malkia Stars

A country like Nigeria rakes in billions from their footballers .

What is so hard in fixing the facilities and you give these low of the low but talented youth a chance in life ?

What is so hard in building a damn stadium with a good playing field, gym +++. Jubillee lied to Kenyans and that is a Known Known. They lied to the young people in this country. Mr President you can still redeem your legacy in getting the stadias done. Our Chinese friends can easily fix 5 to 10 stadium in under 2 years . They are building in under 10 days a 1000 bed Hospital to handle Coronavirus. I honestly don’t mind one more borrowing for the sake of sports .

To fix a stadia is NO rocket science . It is concrete steps in the sitting area and playing field. Poorer countries have done it and here we are insisting we care for sports while we don’t.

We lost supersports KPL sponsorship just like that with our BAD HABIT of eating.

A failed PS in Sports a colourless PS I dare say is transferred to another docket instead of getting fired . Talk of cuddling mediocrity.

We only know how to take credit when the teams do Well. Does GOK know what our volleyball team went through at Kasarani. Boiling hot water using an electric coil in a bucket to get hot water for bathing . It was shared between all of them in cold Nairobi. What is so hard in booking them at even a 3 star hotel with running hot water . One of the girls had to bring a TV from home for them to watch at their so called camp.

Despite all that they made mince meat of other teams . Egypt and Hosts Cameroon had their camps in Europe while we dumped ours at Kasarani but when they do well we pretend that we care for them.

We brag about our Athletes. Athletics is more of individual efforts again not a single stadium or decent gym for weight training. Thanks to the organised agents and sponsors.

To GOK allow me to teach you basic economics . We export flowers to earn forex. We bring in tourists to earn Forex. When we help our youth to excel in Sports and land lucrative contracts that is serious forex coming in. What is so hard in making that happen ? What is hard in getting that ????

Kenya Premier League is struggling today . I asked a key official in my team mighty Gor how much we would need to get the KPL working . He said with Ksh 1.5B to Ksh 2B a year we will have the best premier league and our footballers can then focus without having to worry how they will get paid. You tell me how much have been stolen by some pot bellied chap ?

Well to our young men and women this Sunday I salute you . Don’t give up . Almighty God will help you shine and the young footballers heading to Europe is enough testimony that God will never forsake you. Hard work pays and thanks to TV coverage that exposed your achievement at CECAFA tournament in Dar es Salaam

To GOK please hang you head in shame . Don’t wait at the finish line to bask in glory . That is bad manners.

For now Hongera Shujaa Team

As always I choose to remain an optimist by also being candid with those who fail us miserably.

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa