United Nation Conference on Trade and Development Secretary
General Dr, Mukhisa Kituyi has called on the government to look on alternative
measures to caution Kenyans against utility bills during the Coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview to Citizen TV, Dr. Kituyi said if companies
offering essential services to the public are private, the government should
come up with a model subsidizing this services, or rather making it pubic, to
offer the services at a free charge.
“if companies like Kenya power are still thinking of how to
make profit, it is high time government take control and offer residents free electricity
during this pandemic,” said Dr. Mukhisa.
He added that everyone in the country has a role to play,
urging the security apparatus to act with civility,
“It is futile to waste too much time on political score
settling. For the security apparatus, do not behave like zombies –it hurts to
see a police man beating up the driver of a truck delivering food to the urban
poor,” said the SG UNCTAD.
On Friday, police officers across the country brutally
enacted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to the public to observe a
night-time curfew, a move that resulted to many injuries and deaths.
Dr. Kituyi urged the government to seek alternative ways
like channeling part of the development budget to deal with the crisis.
“While we try to keep people alive by reducing the cost of
the disrupted economy, how can the government prepare its people for rebuilding
after the crisis? We have to be in both gears,” he said.
The National Treasury set up COVID-19 Emergency Response
Fund Kitty, which will enable the country to oversee measures to contain the
highly contagious disease.
COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is to be drawn from the exchequer
including the voluntary salary cuts from government officials.
The kitty will be chaired by Kenya Breweries Managing
Director Jane Karuku, alongside board members including Safaricom CEO Michael
Joseph, RMS MD Wachira Waruru, Equity Group MD James Mwangi KCB CEO Joshua
Oigara, Absa bank MD Jeremy Awori, Kenya Tourism Fund Chairman Mohammed Hersi,
Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga and PAS in the office of
the president Kennedy Kihara, who will serve as Secretary to the fund.