NAIROBI, Kenya May 21 – The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Kenya has urged the Ministry of Labour, Social Security, and Services to ensure the inclusion of all elderly persons who qualify for the Inua Jamii program, which is aimed at cushioning Kenyans from effects of COVID-19.
Nelson Marwa, the Labour Principal Secretary in April launched the program which provides Sh2,000 monthly to more than 1 million beneficiaries under an Sh 8.7 billion kitty to cushion them from the effects of COVID-19 which had infected1,029 and killed 50 people in the country by May 20.
During a meeting on the impact of the pandemic on the poor and vulnerable in society held Tuesday, ICJ also urged CS Simon Chelugui to incorporate the use of cashless transfer to ensure that elderly persons are able to access their funds without the risk of being exposed to the highly contagious disease when going to banks.
“Based on the extensive and highly interactive deliberations guided by thematic experts, we urge the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Labour to incorporate the use of cashless fund transfer to ensure that elderly persons who are vulnerable are able to access their monies without having to travel to banking halls,” ICJ Kenya Chairman Kevin Mogeni said through a statement.
At the same time, the Kenyan section of ICJ wants the stimulus package to cater to persons in the formal and informal sectors, raising concern that the package only benefits those in the formal sector.
“As a Commission of Jurists, we have noted that the current package only benefits those employed in the formal sector,” they noted.
In their recommendation, they also want the Government to provide safe houses and shelters for homeless people who have been affected by the demolitions.
ICJ also wants the government to respect and uphold he rights of citizens following increased complaints of abuses.
“Desist from extorting, harassing, and soliciting bribes from Kenyans who are seeking legitimate access to areas that are under lockdown. Put in place appropriate measures to allow for reporting and investigation of errant police officers who are acting in contravention to the National Police Standing orders,” part of their recommendation noted.
In the wake of upscaled court sessions via online forums, ICJ Kenya further called upon the NCAJ to advocate for the decriminalization and reclassification of petty offenses.
“Partner with relevant institutions to ensure courts in rural areas and in prisons are equipped with the necessary infrastructure to enable cases to be disposed of expeditiously, ”ICJ Kenya pointed out in their recommendation to Judiciary.
The 5th webinar meeting convened by the non Governmental organization (NGO) brought together more that100 people from the civil society, private sector, and government.