LEADER

Economic stimulus package needed desperately

KQ is among the first firms to lead the way in announcing pay cuts and unpaid leave for staff because their planes are virtually grounded.

In Summary

• A quick and decisive economic action plan is the only way to save our fragile situation.

• Failure to do so will expose the economy to a calamity it will take years to recover from.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at Harambee House on March 15
President Uhuru Kenyatta at Harambee House on March 15
Image: MERCY MUMO

The entire country is in a state of unprecedented anxiety following the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced tough measures that will affect virtually every sector of the economy. They just fell short of total lockdown.

Reassuringly, President Uhuru Kenyatta also announced a raft of measures his administration has lined up to safeguard lives. This was intended to assure the public that leaders understand the gravity of the challenge at hand.

Kenyans have responded positively, but the President must maintain a robust and confidence-inspiring response to the health emergency.

He needs to reassure businesses, employers and employees with an economic stimulus package that will keep industries and businesses running and save jobs.

Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge announcement that banks were reviewing loan repayment schedules was confidence-building.

Hard times require tough decisions, including but not excluding Kenya Airways decision to cut salaries and send staff on unpaid leave.

Leaders worldwide are taking tough decisions to protect their economies. President Kenyatta and his team of economic managers must do likewise and continue to do so to save the economy from collapse.

It is also the responsibility of each one of us to do only the right things for the country to survive the economic turmoil that lies ahead.