The Wall Street Journal has named Kenya Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe as one of the leaders who have emerged as ‘heroes’ in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the world.
Kagwe was featured alongside three other leaders in the Wall Street Journal article written by Sam Walker.
The other Covid-19 pandemic ‘heroes’ are Dr. Jung Eun-kyeong, the director of South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Jenny Harries, UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and Taiwan vice-president Chen Chien-Jen.
In the article, Walker describes the four leaders as “career deputies” who have emerged on the frontline in combating the spread of the disease.
“As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, a funny thing is happening. The leaders who have distinguished themselves under pressure are rarely the bold, charismatic, impulsive, self-regarding, politically calculating alphas we’ve elected,” Walker notes.
“The real heroes have been, for lack of a better term, career deputies.”
He further notes that “Kenya’s unlikely coronavirus hero is Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe, a businessman with an MBA who had washed out of elective office.”
He adds: “In politics, Mr. Kagwe was seen as a technocrat; too ordinary and emotionally distant. In his coronavirus briefings, these traits became assets.”
“Mr. Kagwe projects calm, emphasizes evidence and urges Kenyans to face facts, a style one senator described as ‘a breath of fresh air’”
Kagwe served as the first Nyeri Senator from 2013 to 2017 and unsuccessfully run for the county’s governor seat in the last elections. He also served as the Minister for ICT during retired President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.
President Uhuru appointed Kagwe as Health CS in January this year to replace Sicily Kariuki, who was moved to the Water ministry.