Inside Politics

Chamber boss urges government to lift curfew, travel ban

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta exchange pleasantries with Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Boss Richard Ngatia during the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Business Summit held last year at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC).

COMMERCE:  Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) will complement government efforts to prepare the economy for reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic by enforcing health protocols and guidelines.

Responding to the delicate balance the government must consider in reviving the economy, chamber president Richard Ngatia said business owners must now be proactive to safeguard employees and customers.

The chamber has called for provision of protective gears notably face masks and sanitisers while ensuring customers are fully compliant to all health guidelines including social distancing.

Economic effects

“As the country grapples to contain the spread of the coronavirus and its debilitating socio-economic effects, KNCCI implores upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to gradually reopen the economy,” Ngatia said in a statement yesterday.

“We hold the view that safety remains a priority and also appreciate the fact that life has to go on; people to have an opportunity to have a daily meal, income and at the very least be facilitated to meet basic daily necessities,” he added.

While noting that the disruptions caused by control measures are well intended to forestall a health catastrophe, he said the curfew and cessation of movement rules are temporary stop-gap measures to address the situation but called upon all Kenyans to be alive to the facts about what the new normal should be.

“As a chamber, we commit to make sure those in hospitality industries pay the Covid-19 tests for their employees before resuming businesses.

Also, all the establishments must have infrared thermo guns to constantly monitor the temperature of all those gaining access to the facilities.

This is the only way we can keep businesses alive and ensure safety of clients,” he added. He said, currently, more than 80 per cent of the population lives off the informal economy with day-to-day earnings.

“If they do not work, they do not eat. We call upon President Uhuru to lift the total ban on the cessation of movement in all counties and the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

However, if total lifting of the curfew and ban on movement is not tenable, we passionately appeal to the president to extend the curfew hours from 7pm to 10pm.

Restricted and regulated inter-counties movement with the exception of those providing essential services can also be manageable,” said Ngatia.

Last week President Uhuru said the country cannot be on partial lockdown permanently.  

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