Uhuru: Respect Kenyans providing essential services, obey state directives

In Summary

•Uhuru said a reduction of coporation tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent. A reduction of the turnover tax rate from three per cent to one percent.

President Uhuru Kenyatta./PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta./PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Kenyans to respect the sacrifices made by health workers and others working in areas providing essential services by obeying the government's directive to avoid large crowds.

"To honour their hard work and sacrifice, it is incumbent on every Kenyan to support the efforts of our Medical Professionals, Health Workers, Critical and Essential Services Providers, and the Government as a whole by reducing movement and congregating in large groups," he said.

Uhuru spoke at State House, Nairobi, on Wednesday.

The National Security Council issued a public order on the coronavirus pandemic that effective March 27, a daily curfew from 7pm- 5am shall be in effect.

Effectively, all movement by persons not authorised to do so or not being medical professionals, health workers, critical and essential services providers will be prohibited between those hours from making movements.

"We reiterate that the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus is through basic changes in individual behaviour and hygiene. We have recently experienced cases within our country where transmission was from our political and religious leaders who unfortunately did not heed the guidance by the Ministry of Health on self-quarantine and social distancing," Uhuru said.

The President also ordered public and state officers above the age of 58 to either take leave or work from home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This excludes workers who provide essential services.

Who falls under worker providing essential services?

Public officers serving in senior ranks (Job Group T and above) are designated as providers of critical services. 

Essential services include those that may endanger the health and safety of part or whole of the population if interrupted.

All Agencies undertaking direct and ancillary services in the water, health, security, air traffic control and civil aviation, fire services, ports, financial and transport sectors are essential services.

The directive to work home is in line with the circular issued to the Public Service on March 16.

 

The President also announced that he and his deputy William Ruto will take an 80% pay cut as the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My government has offered a voluntary salary reduction to senior government officials,” Uhuru said.

 

Cabinet Secretaries will take a 30 per cent pay cut, as will Chief Administrative Secretaries.

 
 

Uhuru has also directed the Treasury to offer 100 per cent tax relief for persons earning a gross income of Sh24000.

 
 

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax will also be reduced from 30 per cent to 25.

 

"There will be a reduction of the income tax rate from its maximum of 30 to 25 per cent," he said.

These recommendations are subject to approval.

Uhuru recommended a reduction of corporation tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

"There will also be a reduction of the turnover tax rate from three per cent to one percent," he said.

Uhuru also suspended the listing on CRB of any persons in micro small or medium enterprises whose loan accounts were due or in arrears, effective April 1.

 

"..this is to protect jobs for our people and uncertainty for employers.." he said.

Addressing the nation on Wednesday from the State House, Nairobi, the President asked Kenyans to join hands with the government to fight the pandemic.

The President said that Sh1 billion from the Universal Health kitty will be directed to recruit more health officers to mitigate the spread of the virus.

The Head of State has further ordered 100 per cent tax relief to Kenyans earning less than Sh24,000.

He also ordered the reduction of the turn over tax rate for Micro and Small Media Enterprises to one per cent from the current three per cent.