COVID-19 CONSEQUENCES

Waive tax on essential household items, Osotsi tells state

Nominated MP says a rescue plan is necessary to ensure the crisis does not take a heavy toll on citizens.

In Summary

• Osotsi expressed concern that unscrupulous traders have taken advantage of the situation to exploit Kenyans. 

• The lawmaker urged politicians to be at the forefront in following government orders as a way of protecting Kenyans against the virus.

Vihiga Woman Rep Beatrice Adagala at a funeral service in Vihiga county.
Vihiga Woman Rep Beatrice Adagala at a funeral service in Vihiga county.
Image: Martin Ombima

ANC MP Godfrey Osotsi has urged the government to come up with an immediate economic plan to cushion Kenyans from the Covid-19 crisis.

He said the worst-hit nations have come up with rescue plans to protect their citizens. Kenya has confirmed 16 cases of the virus after the first was detected on March 13. 

Osotsi said taxes on items such as sanitiser and other disinfectants should be waived. He expressed concern that unscrupulous traders have taken advantage of the situation to exploit Kenyans. 

The nominated legislator said the country is likely to run out of sanitiser, hence the country must use ethanol produced by sugar mills such as Mumias to support manufacturing and sustain supply.

"Making use of that ethanol at Mumias now will help that former giant sugar mill in East and Central Africa to come back to life," Osotsi told the Star on the phone.

"The government also needs to do what we call tax rate cutback to our people at this moment. Pay As You Earn, value-added tax and other related taxes should be reduced to a favorable level that will fit our citizens in this difficult situation.

"Things will be worse to our people with these huge burdens of tax when the nation is less active."

The lawmaker urged politicians to be at the forefront in following government orders as a way of protecting Kenyans against the virus.

"This Covid-19, we should not take it as a joke. It has done harm and destruction to human lives out there. We should avoid rallying people in crowds, we are endangering their lives.

"The idea of Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi and Mama County Beatrice Adagala rallying people in a funeral on Sunday was bad. We should not be at the forefront in declining orders by state and we expect citizens to comply with them," he said.

Adagala and Agoi joined the family of former Mbale mayor Eliud Kihusa for his burial after the state said only family members not exceeding 15 will be expected at burial ceremonies. The government has also banned public gatherings and directed Kenyans to stay at home.