Uhuru, Ruto to take 80% pay cut, 7 pm to 5 am curfew imposed as coronavirus threatens Kenyan economy

President Uhuru Kenyatta. [Photo courtesy]

As the country’s economy takes a downturn, President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued a raft of measures to cushion Kenyans from the hard economic times.

In a state of the nation address on Wednesday, Uhuru ordered the National Treasury to institute a 0% tax on all Kenyans earning a gross salary of up to 24, 000.

Further, pay as you earn tax has been reduced to 25% from the usual 30%.

In a bid to instill some level of sanity, the State imposed a 7 pm to 5 am curfew effective Friday, March 27.

Uhuru reckoned that, together with his deputy William Ruto, he will take 80% pay cut while all Cabinet Secretaries will take a 30% pay cut.

The president also suspended CRB listing from April and also ordered for the reduction of VAT from the current 16% to 14%

However, even as the number of coronavirus infections rises in Kenya to 28, some quarantine facilities set aside for all passengers getting into Kenya are in a deplorable state.

Reports from a section of those who were placed at the KMTC quarantine center paint an appalling picture of unpreparedness by the government.

They claim that dirty toilets, cold showers, and bed bug-infested rooms were not what they expected to find at the center. Also, they decried a lack of sanitizers in these quarantine facilities making it look like “one big mess”.

“First of all, we were holed up at the airport without any communication from the authorities and after a back and forth, we landed at the KMTC on Tuesday evening,” *Derek Maina (not his real name) told the Star.

“You just know how the student toilets look like, they were very dirty and there was no one to clean them. It was horrible and terrible…There were no cleaners. At one point you get someone who has shaved and left the mess there. So we were forced to clean the toilets before use.”

He added that they have to deal with bed bugs menace in the rooms which makes it very uncomfortable.

“Some of the rooms here have bed bugs. You can imagine this is just one of the rooms. What about the other rooms? People who have not checked their beds. Apart from coronavirus, now we have to fight bed bugs as well?” he posed adding that he has since been evacuated to a hotel in Nairobi where he is comfortable.

Even as this happens, the government insists that all passengers coming to Kenya must be quarantined for 14 days.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said this is in the wake of the realization that most of the confirmed cases came in from other countries.