Push to Slash Uhuru, Ruto Salaries Over Coronavirus Gains Steam

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, where he hosted national prayers against the Coronavirus pandemic on March 21, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, where he hosted national prayers against the Coronavirus pandemic on March 21, 2020.
    PSCU
  • The Ekuru Aukot-led Thirdway Alliance is spearheading a new push to have the salaries of leaders including President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto slashed as part of the government's response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

    In a statement shared with newsrooms on Sunday, March 22, the party called for the funds to be channeled towards supporting low-income earners feeling the economic pinch brought about by the pandemic.

    Slashing salaries of the president, his deputy, cabinet secretaries, governors, CECs and parastatal heads was one of several measures that Thirdway recommended the government immediately put in place.

    The party also called for authorities to immediately halt all infrastructure projects and use the pandemic as an opportunity to renegotiate debt repayment terms with international partners.

    Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot addresses the media in 2019
    Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot addresses the media in 2019
    Twitter

    The party asserted that it had arrived at the recommendations following consultations with experts including medical practitioners and economists.

    "Use this crisis to renegotiate repayment terms of all our foreign loans with a view to elongating the repayment period and hence reducing annual debt commitments.

    "Ask all top politicians starting with yourself, your deputy, cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries, CASs, governors, deputy governors, CECs, parastatal boards and top civil servants to take a pay cut to reduce the wage bill and redirect this money to cushion low-income earners who are now working from home.

    "At times like this, leaders ought to lead from the front and sacrifice for the welfare of the poor majority," the statement read in part.

    The party maintained that the measures were meant to offer a solution to the economic slowdown that threatens to lead to a surge in the cost of living.

    Thirdway additionally urged the government to create a special National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover to specifically take care of Covid-19 related medical bills for Kenyans.

    The party behind the failed Punguza Mizigo Initiative also called for the income tax submission deadline to be moved from June 30 to August 31, 2020, as most businesses and auditors were inconvenienced during the outbreak and could not meet the deadline.

    The party further pushed for the government to immediately make affordable mobile-based loans accessible to citizens to help Kenyans stay on their feet during the outbreak.

    "Use part of savings from above restructuring measures to immediately create a pool fund where ordinary citizens can take mobile-based loans at peppercorn loan interests during this crisis.

    "Ensure those funds are released immediately to credible commercial banks and availed through mobile money platforms," the statement noted.

    From left, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi at the National Prayer Service held at State House Nairobi on March 21, 2020..jpg
    From left, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi at the National Prayer Service held at State House Nairobi on March 21, 2020..jpg
    PSCU