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President Uhuru Kenyatta/PSCU/FILE

Coronavirus

President Kenyatta directs treasury to set up emergency response kitty on COVID-19

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 –President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday directed the National Treasury to set up an emergency response fund overseen by a 10-member board committee to bolster the country’s countermeasures against COVID-19.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the funds will foster the national response to the pandemic that has slowed most of the world’s economies.

“The principal object of the fund shall be to mobilize resources for emergency response towards containing the spread, effects, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Head of State outlined.

President Kenyatta further said that the initial allocation of the fund will be derived from monies received from government officials who committed to voluntary paycuts to help in ongoing efforts to fight the virus with Kenya having recorded 50 cases as at Monday, March 30.

“The seed capital of the fund shall be drawn from the exchequer including the voluntary salary cuts undertaken by the senior ranks of the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, and County governments,” he added.

Last week President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that he and his deputy William Ruto will take an 80 per cent pay cut while Cabinet Secretaries will take a 30 per cent pay cut to curb COVID 19.

Equally, the kitty will be supplemented by donations from individuals and corporate entities, grants from Kenya’s development partners and multinational institutions.

Other gifts, subscriptions, and contributions that the kitty may receive continuously will also go towards boosting response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The board consisting of Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph, Equity Group Managing Director James Mwangi, Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga will be chaired by Kenya Breweries Managing Director Jane Karuku.

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Other members include Devki Group Chairperson Narendra Raval, Kenya Commercial Bank Group CEO Joshua Oigara, Absa Bank Managing Director Jeremy Awori, Kenya Tourism Fund Chairperson Mohammed Hersi and Principal Administrative Secretary in the Office of the President Kennedy Kihara who has been nominated to serve as Secretary for the Fund.

Further President Uhuru said that Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Council of Governors Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya will act as joint representatives of both levels of the government.

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