Raila calls for review of travel restrictions for business community

Friday, September 10th, 2021 00:00 |
ODM Leader Raila Odinga taking a ride at Nairobi Railway Station. Photo/PD/John Ochieng’

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga yesterday appealed to the government to review the travel restrictions currently in place to allow traders to move freely.

In a meeting with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) yesterday from Nairobi County, Raila said as much as the country was battling Covid-19, the Ministry of Health should ensure that those who have been properly vaccinated against the disease are allowed to go on with their businesses as usual.

Tax regime

He claimed that some government officials have been using Covid-19 as an excuse to deny genuine businessmen visas. He said a review of this would assist the traders get back to business.

His appeal came after a section of businessmen complained that the government has been making it hard for them to acquire these certificates.

 “Covid-19 is being used as an excuse to deny people visas. This is totally wrong and we are telling the government to look into these issues,” he said.

Currently, the Ministry of Health has put in place travel restrictions requiring persons travelling out of the country to not only have a Covid 19 certificate but to also be fully vaccinated.

“We have been suffering. The conditions put in place appear to be punitive. For you to get this clearance you are usually taken through circles which is not necessary,” said Ben Mutahi-chairman Micro-Small Medium enterprises council.

At the same time, Raila stated that the current tax regime is unfavorable to (SMEs) and is destroying the morale of businessmen and women.

 “The only way the government can encourage local businesses to grow in the spirit of Buy Kenya, Build Kenya was by relaxing some of the regulations and demands by the taxpayer,” Raila said adding that this will motivate young entrepreneurs to do business locally.

Kenyans have decried high taxation under the jubilee administration, with most of the charges to raise revenue targeting low-income households.

MPs in June voted to charge duty on items like cooking gas, digital transactions and airtime.

More on News