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Doctors' diagnosis fuels doubt about suitability of Nakhumicha to lead

 Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha. [Samson Wire, Standard]

There are those blessed with the gift of gab. These kinds of people would have their way with anyone just by talking.

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha is not one of them, evidenced by the fact that she is persona non grata among medical workers.

Every time she speaks, striking doctors have something new to write on their placards. One recently observed that Waziri seemed “sad” and exhibited other worrying symptoms. 

Had Nakhumicha been taking hints, she probably would have discovered that she should talk less. You can count on her to do the opposite, as she confirmed on Wednesday during an interview on KTN News.

She wore her usual redhead and a matching blazer. As her seat got hotter, as it occasionally did, her eyes would want a piece of the action and turned red.

Madam Waziri started with a disclaimer, delivered in a victorious tone.

“Leadership capacity and capability is tested during a crisis. These are the times when people will really know who Nakhumicha is. I think they've just been seeing me,” she said.

It’s difficult to say that the masses have been seeing Nakhumicha, not with the tinted windows of her four-wheel always rolled up.

But the message was probably meant for those giving her a hard time in boardrooms.

She has been anything but victorious. In the past week, doctors have skived duty as they press the government to post intern medics.

Further, they want a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed between themselves and the Health Ministry in 2017 implemented.

“I wasn't the Cabinet Secretary in 2017. I was busy doing something else,” Madam Waziri lamented, saying that she should not be blamed for things that are 'perrenio'.

And as she promised, Madam Waziri would reveal details about her true self. For instance, she believes in having people working for free.

“Interns are non-employees,” Nakhumicha insisted throughout the interview.

Perhaps she should try telling that to the millions of Kenyans who depend on these 'non-employees' for all their medical needs, as the government remains reluctant to hire more doctors in a country with an acute shortage of medics.

“You have to have offered services to get paid for those services,” she went on. “Remuneration is given to an employee by an employer.”

As many have observed, the mere suggestion that interns render no services is completely losing it. That and the lie that they are not government employees, given the law recognises them as employees.

“An intern ought not to be paid,” Nakhumicha would insist, revealing that the Treasury had suggested unpaid internships in future, comparing it with other internship programmes across the government.

She further excitedly disclosed that some 50 interns had offered to spend entire days and sleepless nights in public hospitals 'for free'.

That she did not take up their offers perhaps proves such stories to be what many term 'story za jaba'.

With the current state of the economy, few would be willing to work without pay. The last known healers who worked for free existed two millennia ago, and even then there was a catch.

While one had direct access to the land of milk, honey and endless singing, the rest were promised a room there.

The only promise Nakhumicha could give those 'screaming' at her ministry’s office was “they'll be back to me asking for employment”, coupled with threats to replace striking doctors in public hospitals that the national government runs.

She explained that the government is too broke to afford interns.

The government is too broke to afford proper grammar (Madam Waziri spoke about a lady, a 'wife’s doctor', affected by the ongoing strike).

Blaming poverty for the government’s inadequacies isn’t the easiest job, not when State officials are flying choppers to launch boreholes and wearing watches worth more than the annual salaries of a couple of interns.

Before Nakhumicha debuted on placards, she had been on posters and banners, unsuccessfully contesting the Trans Nzoia Woman Representative position.

That’s as much as we know about the holder of two diplomas and a Master of Science degree, given she only revealed she was doing 'something else' in her previous life.

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