Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe took over at the helm of the crucial docket at the time the world was starting to feel the heat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
The former Nyeri County Senator took oath of office on Friday, February 28, 2020, and literally hit the ground running.
Unlike his predecessor Sicily Kariuki, the CS, who is also the Chairman of the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus, has been hailed as a man who inspired confidence at a time the country needed it most.
Through his leadership style coupled with his demeanour amid COVID-19 pandemic, Kagwe has won many hearts of Kenyans. Many think that the President made the right decision by appointing him to cabinet.
Kagwe’s efforts to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country has not only been recognised by locals but even by International media.
In its publication, this weekend, American daily newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, singled out Kenya, South Korea and the United Kingdom for proper management of the COVID-19 health crisis that has claimed over 64,000 lives and infected over 1.2 million people around the world.
The writer of the article, Sam Walker, puts Kagwe at the centre of the fight against COVID-19 in the country in his heading “In This Crisis, the Deputies Are the Heroes We Need”.
According to the writer, Kagwe’s leadership skills that became evident in his daily COVID-19 briefings gave Kenyans hope to face the pandemic that has claimed four lives and infected over 120 people in the country.
“Kenya’s unlikely Coronavirus hero is Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe, a businessman with an MBA who had been washed out of elective office. In politics, Mr. Kagwe was seen as a technocrat; too ordinary and emotionally distant. In his coronavirus briefings, these traits became assets, ” an excerpt from the publication reads
“Mr Kagwe projects calm, emphasizes evidence and urges Kenyans to face facts, a style one senator described as ‘a breath of fresh air’. In a recent social media poll, Mr Kagwe’s crisis leadership was rated 8 out of 10.”
Locally, a section of Kenyans has in the recent past opined that Kagwe’s ability to manage the crisis can be attributed to his vast experience in both the political arena and government ministries.
Kagwe served in President Mwai Kibaki’s government as Minister for Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
Over the years, he has been in and out of politics.
In 2007, he disappeared from active politics after losing his Mukurweini seat to Kabando Wa Kabando.
After spending five years in the cold, he bounced back into the politics to win the Nyeri Senatorial seat in 2013.
In 2017, Kagwe lost the Jubilee party Gubernatorial ticket to late Governor Wohome Gakuru.
Kagwe stayed away from the public limelight for the next two years until October 2019 when he was appointed to the board of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).