Nyali MP Mohammed Ali on Monday, March 30 shared a letter he had written to Parliament Majority leader Aden Duale calling for a special sitting as soon as possible for the house to deliberate and put in place measures meant to protect Kenyans during the Covid-19 crisis.
Among the raft of measures he outlined was a push to halt evictions of Kenyans by their landlords over rent arrears during the pandemic.
"Additionally, the need for protection measures to guard against eviction of Kenyans occasioned by delay in payment of rent until the pandemic is over cannot be overstated," Ali wrote.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Monday, March 30, Ali broke down his proposals, revealing that he would push for the creation of a special kitty to help Kenyans access food and cash for basic necessities during the pandemic.Nyali MP Mohammed Ali addresses area residents on February 16, 2019.Daily Nation
Explaining that he did not think the country was taking Covid-19 as seriously as it should, Ali called for a lock-down to be put in place but only after safety nets had been put in place for the less privileged in society.
He further noted that once the lock-down was approved, landlords would have to be compelled to waive rents for two or three months as their tenants would have no guaranteed incomes.
"There's all this money recovered from proceeds of corruption, we're also being given money by the World Bank and other partners, we even had billions to spend on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). Why can't we channel all these funds to one kitty for Kenyans to put food on their tables?
"At the sitting I will push for the creation of a special kitty to provide food and subsistence allowances for households in Kenya.
"I don't think we're taking this thing seriously enough. Even in Italy, they took it as a joke at first and continued with their lives but look where they are now. We need a lock-down, but only once we have put measures in place to protect the most vulnerable in society. Of course, if we have a lockdown, the government must tell landlords that, look, you need to waive rents for two or three months.
"This curfew is not effective, people are interacting all day and taking the disease home with them. Look at Rwanda right now, they have put a lock-down in place and they are providing every household in the country with food," he asserted.
Ali echoed the sentiments of Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who has in recent weeks reiterated calls for landlords to take into consideration the financial difficulties being experienced by their tenants.
"We need landlords to be more understanding, patient and accommodative especially when Kenyans default on rent," Kuria told Kenyans.co.ke in a conversation.
In his letter, Ali further argued that many Kenyans were struggling as a result of the pandemic and could not afford to stay home in compliance with recent directives from the government such as the curfew.
"The National Assembly needs to play its constitutional mandate by putting in place fiscal measures through legislative interventions or other mechanisms to assist vulnerable Kenyans that have been forced out of employment, are unemployed or are under-privileged and require government assistance for survival.
"The current measures that have been put in place including curfews, work at home directives and quarantine among others can only be effective if we also put in place measures that help vulnerable Kenyans staying at home to have access to food and subsistence allowances," he wrote.
Ali also dismissed doubts on whether parliament could convene without contravening social distancing directives, explaining that according to the standing orders they only needed 50 members present.
"We only need 50 members, the house can accommodate over 300. If we come just 50 of us, we can stay meters from each other and still do our jobs.
"Why can't we come in shifts, 50 today, 50 tomorrow and we execute our mandate?" he posed to this scribe.Mohammed Ali when he issued bursary cheques to needy students in Nyali on February 22, 2020
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