President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, March 25, announced that three more Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases had been confirmed in the country.
Following the announcement, the total confirmed cases in the country rose to 28.
Uhuru further announced that the first confirmed patient in Kenya, a 27-year-old woman, had recovered fully 12 days after testing positive.President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing officials during a ceremony at State House, Nairobi on March 18, 2020.PSCU
Uhuru spoke at a press briefing held at State House, Nairobi where he announced a raft of targeted state interventions meant to cushion Kenyans from the economic slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.
Among the measures announced by the President was a 100% tax relief for all Kenyans earning below Ksh24,000 and a 25% tax relief for all other workers.
Uhuru further announced the reduction of the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax rate from 30% to 25%.
Resident income tax (Corporation Tax) was reduced from 30% to 25% as well.
Turn-over tax rate for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was also reduced from 3% to 1%.
The National Treasury was directed to reduce the VAT from 16% to 14%, with the directive to take effect on April 1.
In addition, Uhuru directed the suspension of listing of individuals defaulting on loans on the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) with effect from April 1.
The President ordered all government ministries and departments to cause the payment of all pending bills within three weeks.
The measure, he explained, was meant to keep businesses afloat and ensure liquidity in the economy as Kenyans feel the economic downturn from Covid-19.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) was directed to expedite the payment of all verified VAT refund claims amounting to Ksh10 billion within three weeks or in the alternative, allow for offsetting of Withholding VAT, in order to improve cash flows for businesses.
Uhuru also directed that Ksh1 billion from the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) kitty be allocated towards the recruitment of health workers across the country for Kenya to effectively deal with the pandemic.
Cash Transfer Program
President Kenyatta announced the injection of Ksh10 billion into a cash transfer program for the most vulnerable in society; particularly the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable individuals. The funds will be transferred through the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. The program is expected to support those most hard hit by the economic shocks resulting from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In another major declaration, Uhuru announced that he and Deputy President William Ruto would take pay cuts of 80% of their salaries.
Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries, Uhuru announced, had also agreed to take pay cuts.
Cabinet secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries will have their salaries slashed by 30% while Principal Secretaries will take a 20% pay cut.
Uhuru also ordered that all state and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 and above, serving in Job Group S and below or their equivalents, take leave or forthwith work from home.
He noted that the workings of the governments had been restructured to allow for closer coordination with the county governments and streamlined cabinet operations.
Uhuru stated that the measures would play a major part in helping contain the pandemic.
The President further called for Kenyans to comply with directives issued by the government even as he asserted that the government would not hesitate to take more drastic measures if those currently put in place proved inadequate.
"Defeating this pandemic demands cooperation, collaboration and common action.
"More than that, it calls for our unity, our understanding, our adherence to measures issued by the Ministry of Health," he stated.
The president further declared a nationwide curfew from from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Friday, March 27, in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
The management of the Kenya Ferry Services was also officially vested in the National Police Service, the Coast Guard and the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO).President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the media at State House, Nairobi where he announced the approval of Google Loon Services in Kenya to enable universal 4G data coverage in the country.PSCU
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