ODM files House motion to relax strict Covid-19 measures
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) wants the government to replace all forms of lockdown, curfews and travel restrictions and with less stringent but effective measures in a bid to restore the economy.
The Opposition party, in a motion filed before the National Assembly yesterday, wants parliament to compel the government to ease the restrictions which it says has badly affected the economy.
The motion was moved by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and approved by the minority leader who is also the party chairman John Mbadi.
Dusk-to-dawn curfew has been in place for the better part of the last one and a half years.
However the government last week eased the curfew hours to start 10am to 4 Am.
The party wants the government to roll out a Covid-19 Economic Stimulus Programme that incorporates an enhanced Kazi Mtaani concept in urban areas and a new Kazi Mashambani concept in rural areas.
“We call on the state to improve the cash transfer packages to the elderly, orphans, the vulnerable and the destitute,” reads the motion.
The party proposes the new containment measures be made economic friendly including provisions of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitisation protocols, and roll-out a mass vaccination campaign that includes restriction of access to work premises by non-vaccinated employees.
“The containment measures have really hit the economy but with the rollout of the vaccine we find it prudent for the government to ease the conditionalities by opening the country for the economy to improve,” Nassir said yesterday.
“The government should also look for other effective interventions to stimulate economic recovery and national growth,” Nassir added
The opposition party says the Covid-19 pandemic has continued to devastate the Kenyan economy as exemplified by its staggering effects on the economic growth that have led to massive losses of jobs and unprecedented layoffs.
“The financial market has been underperforming, the monetary and fiscal policies have been distorted while the Kenyan shilling has been unstable,” states the party in the motion.
Medical facilities all over the country have strained to the worst levels and are not coping with the number of patients seeking assistance.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has since ruled out tax reliefs and economic stimulus for workers and businesses following the imposition of a new lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
The Head of State said while announcing new containment measures in five counties two months ago that possible tax relief will be targeted at sectors hard hit by the fresh restrictions like hospitality.
There were fresh restrictions five counties including Nairobi Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Nakuru before similar ones were introduced in Nakuru, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega and Homa Bay following the increase in the number of infections.