MONITORY MEASURES

COVID-19: Uhuru warns traders against hoarding, increasing prices

Uhuru says COVID-19 is a crisis that might see employees laid off or forced to take half-pay.

In Summary

• President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended the banking sector for agreeing to extend the loan payment period on personal loans.

• Uhuru on Wednesday said it is worth noting that the COVID19 is a crisis that is bound to have a negative financial and economic impact.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi
President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended the banking sector for agreeing to extend the loan payment period on personal loans.

Uhuru on Wednesday said it is worth noting that the COVID19 is a crisis that is bound to have a negative financial and economic impact.

“This virus is a health crisis and as a country we are focused on dealing with it as a health crisis. It is a crisis that is bound to have financial and economic impact to the negative.  We need to pull together as Kenyans to see how we shall overcome the crisis,” Uhuru said.

 

The head of state was speaking at State House Nairobi after a meeting with the banking sector players.

The Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said the banking sector had come to an agreement to extend the term on personal loans with one year at no cost.

He said due to uncertainty that the virus might have to the economy, the banks might consider moratoriums to borrowers depending on how the situation will be assessed.

“We have also asked our banks to waive all charges on balance inquiry and they should not charge on any mobile money transfers,” Njoroge said.

This Uhuru said was a positive move towards ensuring that Kenyans are cautioned against anticipated hard economic times.

“The tourism industry is already taking a hit, small scale traders depending on imported goods are feeling the heat. By the banking sector understanding the plight of these people is recommendable,” he said.

Uhuru said cashless banking and money transfers will go a long way in reducing chances of infections as it allows people to have less contact with money but continue with their businesses.

 

“It is a reality that some employees will be laid off or forced to take half pay. It is only fair that the banking sector considers the plight of such people. At the end of the day we depend on each other and we need each other to see Kenya succeed,” Uhuru said.

He added, “We must play our part, let us not take undue advantage on our people. To all traders do your business right and justly, it is immoral to take advantage of the situation to make super profits”.

Uhuru reiterated that his government has put mechanisms in place to monitor traders who will attempt to take advantage and increase prices.

“Action will be taken against them. It is criminality to use unfortunate situation to make extra profits, we must all act in the interest of the people, to allow all of us survive,” Uhuru said.