The much-awaited Covid vaccines are finally here. They might have touched down under the cover of darkness, but they found our government officials with oil in their lamps keeping vigil at the airport. If that plane was carrying Jesus Christ, Afya House officials would have gone to heaven straight that night.
For a shipment that Kenyans had been waiting for a whole year, many had thought there would be a red carpet reception for the vaccine boxes as they landed on Kenyan soil. We can only hope the government has finally learnt to be prudent with the little resources we have, and that everything has been done by the book, because we are tired of seeing government projects end in premium tears.
But there are still some things Kenyans would love government to do better. For instance, we don’t want the vaccine rollout to be shrouded in secrecy like an illuminati gathering.
While many Kenyans will still be vaccinating themselves with prayers as they watch the chosen few get their jabs on TV, it is everyone’s hope that the monkey games we have seen around the pandemic ended in the Kemsa forest.
For a start, just like the ministry used to parade Kenyans who had successfully beaten Covid like an Akorino drum, we would love the daily briefings to move away from the number of Kenyans who were whipped for breaking curfew rules, to the number of vaccine vials that were rescued from the itchy fingers of Covid millionaires, because Kenyans already know that Afya House corridors are infested with more business cartels than cockroaches.
If there is one lesson Covid millionaires have taught us, it is that we should not let the government fight corona alone. This is why Kenyans are volunteering to help officials scrutinise every briefcase coming out of the central vaccine stores, to prevent another briefcase company getting the tender to distribute vaccines when their profile indicates they only deal in second-hand voodoo dolls.
We still hold on to the prayer that the tender award to transport the vaccines to storage facilities was openly sourced and youth-led organisations and other hustlers given priority to bid.
There is also a desperate need for the Ministry of Health to publish the GPS locations of all vaccine stores across the country, to expand the pool of lucky Kenyans loitering around government warehouses and being picked as lucky winners of the Omoka Na Covid Tender Promotion.
We also pray to the god of second chances, and we believe those who failed in the first Kemsa tender will have a second chance to take this vaccine one through to existence.
As for the safety of our vaccines, we know vaccine experts have recommended they be stored at temperatures cooler than a dog’s nose. We hope the government found time to upgrade our cold chain facilities at the regional vaccine stores in readiness for this rollout; because no international donor would love to hear their vaccines were thrown into the fiery furnace and never came out like Shadrack and Abednego.
No one wants to hear of another Covid scandal when the previous one has not yet been resolved. Kenyans have better things to do than watch depressing news from government offices every day. If you want us to die of corruption scandals, you should first promise you won’t fight at our funerals.