Companies offering essential services such as water and electricity are under pressure to waive charges to ease the burden on Kenyans who have been hard-pressed by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, in a press statement on Sunday, April 5, led the way by announcing that he was waiving all water bills in his county for a period of 8 months.
“My administration has waived all water bills for household consumption in Machakos county beginning May 1, to December 31, 2020, as we continue working towards free domestic water in the whole of Machakos County,” reads a section of the statement.Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua arrives at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Lower Kabete, Kiambu for a Consultative Devolution meeting on Thursday, February 20, 2020.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
Mutua then called upon the national power supplier and all water companies in the country to follow suit by offering a 6-month waiver that he felt would go a long way in cushioning Kenyans from the harsh economic effects of the pandemic.
“I call on Kenya Power and public water companies around the country to also not charge for household consumption,
“I urge the National Treasury to waive VAT charges on cooking gas and paraffin so as to allow households to have more money left in pockets to buy food and other essential commodities," the statement further reads.
The governor explained that his proposal would allow households to have more money left in their pockets to buy food and other essential commodities.
"The electricity waiver can be up to a certain level of usage that is enough for household use for lighting and other household appliances use," he elaborated in his statement.
The governor's statament follows Health CS Mutahi Kagwe's call for the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company not to disconnect any resident due to pending bills stressing that water was crucial in the fight against Coronavirus.
"The majority of Kenyans live from hand to mouth and struggle to make ends meet. There is a need to cushion them using practical measures which only reduce profits of some companies without affecting their operations," the governor further stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, during a coronavirus emergency taskforce virtual meeting held on April 1, called upon the industry players to come together and help ease the burden on Kenyans.
"We should all work together and pull whatever limited resources we have to ensure that we cushion the majority of our people from the impact of this deadly virus," he stated.Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua making the announcement on new directives to combat Covid-19 on March 25, 2020.
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