NAIROBI – President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended his move to call for national prayers as the country faces the coronavirus pandemic, saying when a nation trusts in God, it prospers.
“It is good to come together and pray as a nation…I know there are those who are saying that we should depend on science not prayers but I want to assure you that even science needs God. We need to always remember that a nation prospers when a nation believes and trusts in its maker,” President Kenyatta said.
Uhuru asked Kenyans wherever they are to continue praying for the country, saying it is good to pray together as a nation.
The event was attended by Deputy President William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Cabinet secretaries; Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate; Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya; COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi, among others.
However, some have said the country needs a different approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Karuti Kanyinga who teaches at the University of Nairobi says the problem is medical and needs scientific solution,
“Coronavirus is a medical problem requiring scientific/medical solution. In Kenya the government has not asked scientists to come up with solutions. Instead, religious leaders assemble to pray. Science vs magic,” Kanyinga posted on Twitter.
He further noted that his remark is not to reject God.
“God the Gracious also says faith without action is nothing. The problem is: We don’t spray anything but pray that we shall get something from the soil! How?” he posed.
But renowned lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi said Kenya has no capacity to come up with a scientific solution. “Zero chance… but we are good in prayers. Kenya is thus leveraging where it has an advantage,” he said.
Kanyinga responded saying researchers have the capacity to come with as solution, “it is the government that doesn’t like science at all.”
“ That is why they don’t fund universities. This morning a Kenyan scientist was speaking inSouth Africa as an expert in SA. Last week another was doing so in France.”
“PRAYERS won’t help Kenya combat the coronavirus PANDEMIC. Let’s stop this SUPERSTITION and return to SCIENCE. This PRIMORDIALISM and NAÏVETÉ could WIPE us off the face of the map,” SUNY distinguished Professor Makau Mutua tweeted.
He further added that he is not against people praying — it’s a basic human right. It’s part of the rights to religion, belief, and conscience.
“My point was that prayers can’t — and won’t — cure, or end, the coronavirus. Only science can stop the virus,” Prof Mutua said.
Last week, US President Donald Trump declared Sunday, March 15, a national day of prayer as the country fights to stop the spread of the virus.