Foodstuff and Essential Goods Will Not Be Taxed - Govt

  • Kenya's Defense Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe pictured following a meeting held on March 30, 2020.
    Kenya's Defense Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe pictured following a meeting held on March 30, 2020.
    File
  • The national government on Monday, March 30, announced that it had resolved to waive levies charged on essential goods.

    "Following a meeting between the two levels of government, counties shall forthwith waive cess levies on foodstuffs, essential household goods & critical supplies," reads a statement shared by the Interior Ministry.

    The Interior Ministry headed by Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang'i explained that the new directive was undertaken to facilitate efficient movement & guarantee the affordability of these items as Kenya combats the Covid-19 pandemic.

    A photo of Interior Cabinet Secretary chairing the meeting held between the two levels of government on March 30, 2020..jpg
    Interior Cabinet Secretary chairing the meeting held between the two levels of government on March 30, 2020..jpg
    File

    This comes in the wake of the mandatory dusk to dawn curfew (7 p.m. to 5 a.m.) that was imposed started on March 26, as the government stepped up its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

    On March 30, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, during his presser held outside Afya House announced that the tide had turned in regards to how the virus was spreading and that most of the new cases were transmitted by people within the country.

    "It is now evident that the virus is being spread through community transmission, this means the disease is no longer imported from outside but it is here with us. We are now spreading it amongst ourselves," CS Kagwe announced.

    He went on to announce that the dusk-to-dawn curfew needed to be adhered to at all costs if the country is to stand a chance at containing the deadly virus.

    The CS then announced that only transporters of essential services and foodstuffs would be allowed to be on the roads during curfew hours as it was important that these items were accessible to every Kenyan.

    He also revealed that cargo planes were still flying into the country to ensure that the country would not run out of these crucial items, making the new waiver a welcome move.

    Employers were then ordered to release their employees by 4 p.m. to ensure that they were able to make it home before the curfew was enforced.

    Kenya currently has a total of 50 patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 (as at March 30), with Nairobi County leading the stats with 37 confirmed cases, followed by Kilifi (6) Mombasa (4), while Kajiado, Kwale, and Kitui each have a 1 confirmed case.

    During the press briefing held on March 30, Ministry of Health Director-General Patrick Amoth posited that the total number of coronavirus in Kenya could rise to 10,000 by the end of April 2020.

    “We postulate that we could have 1000 cases by the first week of April, 5000 by mid-April and 10,000 by end of April,” he stated.

    CS Kagwe then reiterated the need to adhere to the stipulated measures to ensure the fight against the coronavirus pandemic was successful.

    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE