During his Address to the nation from the state House in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the enhancement of safety measures to help curb the spread of a fast escalating coronavirus disease in the country.
Likening Covid-19 to the influenza pandemic that claimed tens of millions of lives globally in the 20th C, the president noted that the entire world is going through the ‘extraordinary emergency’ together.
“As the pandemic sweeps through the nations of the world, Kenya has not been spared. Never has our national interest been threatened to this extent before,” avered the Head of State. He added; “A few decades prior to it, a terrible sleeping sickness epidemic wrought havoc in this Eastern part of Africa. I must and will do everything in my power to ensure that we, as a nation, shall not suffer such terrifying outcomes as a result of COVID-19.
The president who mentioned that until his address, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country were 158, noted that governments all over the world, are taking unprecedented steps to arrest the spread of this pandemic and to flatten the curve.
“It is in moments like this that the character of a people and the destiny of a nation are clarified. Fellow Kenyans, we are being called by our children’s children to show the greatness in us by how we respond to COVID-19,” added President Kenyatta.
Wearing a mask when outside the home, Cleaning your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds several times a day, Avoiding all areas with people who will be closer to you than 1.5 meters, Heeding and complying with government directives and Taking extra care not to expose those who are over 58 Years and have chronic ailments.
Among the measures put in place include; setting tailors, all over the country, to make masks for all citizens, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry & Trade should ensure that these tailors are provided the right information through the National Government Administrative Officers on the materials required and the proper method of piecing the fabrics together to make the face masks.
Others include the cessation of movement within Nairobi Metropolitan Area shall be for an initial containment period of 21 days; with effect from 7:00 pm on Monday, 6th April, 2020.
- The movement within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and the Counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa shall continue subject to the nationwide curfew. The cessation of movement within the counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa shall be for an initial containment period of 21 days; with effect from 7:00 pm on Wednesday, 8th April, 2020. In the intervening period movement in and out of the counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa shall be restricted and supervised by the Kenya Police The Nairobi Metropolitan Area is designated as Nairobi City County, Part of Kiambu County up to Chania River Bridge (Thika), including Rironi, Ndenderu, Kiambu Town; Part of Machakos County up to Athi-River, including Katani; Part of Kajiado County including Kitengela, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai and Ngong Town; and all other areas as set out in the Order.
- Any person, passenger carrying bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, automobiles, vehicles, vessels, railway wagons or aircrafts shall not be allowed in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and the counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa. The movement of food supplies and other cargo will continue as normal during the declared containment period through road, railway and air. Any cargo-carrying vehicle or vessel shall be charged to a single driver and designated assistants; all of whom shall be designated as such in writing by the owner or operator of the said vehicle or vessel with reference to that vehicle or vessel.
He encouraged traders and farmers in fresh produce to continue with their agricultural activities, so as to ensure continued supply of the farm produce to our markets. Such farm produce embody the diversity of Kenya includes; Rice, Beans, Maize, Potatoes, Cabbages, Miraa, Tomatoes, bananas and other food items. No one should be denied the ability to carry on with their legal trade within the boundaries of the protocols set out by the Ministry of Health.
“In that regard, as we scale up our interventions against the current health pandemic, I direct the National Treasury to utilize the 2 Billion of already recovered corruption proceeds to support the most vulnerable members of our society, especially the needy in our urban areas. Our fight in this area continues,” President Kenyatta said.
In order that the country protects jobs and provides certainty for both employees and employers, President Kenyatta reiterated the measures undertaken to offer relief and increase disposable income to Kenyans, through:
- 100 % Tax Relief for persons earning gross monthly income of up to 24,000;
- Reduction of Top Income Tax Rate (Pay-As-You-Earn) from 30% to 25%;
- Reduction of Resident Income Tax (Corporation Tax) from 30% to 25%;
- Reduction of the VAT from 16% to 14%, effective 1st April,2020;
- Reduction of the turnover tax rate from the current 3% to 1% for all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs);
Appropriation of an additional Ksh. 10 Billion to the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members of our society through cash-transfers by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, to cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was mentioned by the head of state.
“As a Government, we will continue to take the necessary measures to cushion Kenyans against the impact of the current pandemic. In that regard, I am pleased to note that the interventions we had committed to undertake in my inaugural address to the nation in the beginning of the year 2020 are paying dividends. As a beginning of many firsts, our agenda to empower our youth and foster sustainable livelihoods is gaining momentum. Today, our local Artists have begun drawing higher royalties,” intimated the Head of State.
Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, in collaboration with Kenya Copyright Board, Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) were announced to have established a framework to ensure full transparency for artist’s earnings. My Administration has projected that a total of 200m every month will be paid to musicians through the system and other platforms. This translates to over Ksh. 2 billion going into the pockets of Kenyan artists. These payments will begin this week in line with the president’s January pledge.
The Ministry of Sports, Culture, & Heritage will avail an additional support of 100 M from the Sports Fund to our artists, actors and musicians, during the period of the covid-19 pandemic.
“Our greatness will not be revealed by soldiers in uniform this time. It will show in the sacrifices we each make to protect one another.The bravery and dedication of our medical personnel, should this pandemic continue to escalate, will demonstrate our mettle,” he concluded.
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