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Covid-19: Kenyan government takes pay cuts, as confirmed cases rise to 28

By Toby Prince

Kenya’s executive government have agreed to pay cuts as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Wednesday.

Kenyatta and his deputy will take an 80% pay cut, while their ministers and their assistants will take pay cuts ranging from 20% to 30%.

The President also announced a raft of measures already in place and to be taken to save job and by extension the country’s economy.

These include:

Slashed liquidity ratios, lowered interest rates, and a struggle to find a balance between social distancing and a largely informal economy, since the country’s first confirmed case two weeks ago.

A ban on imports of second-hand clothing, colloquially known as mitumba, a sector which employs tens of thousands across the country.

Tax relief to low income earners (earning up to Shs. 24,000, ($240), and gave tax cuts to individuals, small businesses, and corporations.

Susupension of the country’s three credit reference bureaus, which among them have about 2.5 million Kenyans negatively listed and unable to obtain credit from banks or fintech apps, beginning 1 April.

Kenya now has 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the second highest in the region after Rwanda that has 41. So it is working to halt further spreading across the country.

“Social Distancing is now our new norm, it is our new way of life,” President Kenyatta said on Wednesday. He also announced a nationwide nighttime curfew, the first in the East African nation since a failed coup in 1982, beginning on Friday.

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