Narc Kenya Party has faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to impose new COVID-19 measures, among them partial lockdown of five counties.
The party says that the government’s decision was not well thought of and that it was insensitive to introduce new stringent measures, without cushioning Kenyans from the looming adverse economic effects, just like they did a year ago.
Speaking to the press on Monday, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua said that the first lockdown imposed in 2020 failed to achieve its intended purpose, yet the government was imposing another one, on an already economically-ravaged population.
“As Kenyans were suffering, COVID-19 millionaires and billionaires were being minted. These looters continue to walk scot free enjoying their ill-gotten wealth while Kenyans were being ravaged by COVID-19 and ill-served by an ill prepared health system that is unable to respond to the critically ill and unable to provide adequate vaccines,” she said.
The party demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators behind the KEMSA COVID-19 scandal involving multi-billion shillings.
Other than demanding the government to take up the cost of testing and treatment of COVID-19 in government facilities countrywide, Narc Kenya wants President Uhuru-led administration to intensify testing and vaccination of Kenyans in the disease-infected zone, to ensure normalcy returns at the earliest moment possible.
“… the government urgently procures adequate vaccines to cover all those in need and eligible for the vaccines. The government should take immediate steps to enhance capacity in all county hospitals for testing and response to the critically ill,” says the party.
Furthermore, Narc Kenya wants government to provide food subsidies and expanded transfers to the vulnerable.
“While almost all the top political leaders are on government salary or stipend, the ordinary citizens are on their own to face the stark realities of the lockdown,” reads a statement from the party.
Most importantly, the party wants government to institute taxation measures to cushion citizens and businesses from the adverse effects of the lockdown.
During the previous lockdown, the government reduced tax PAYE from 30% to 25% for people earning above KSh25,000 and zero tax for those earning below.
Furthermore, the VAT reduced from 16% to 14%, with these reliefs lapsing in November 2020.