The ODM party has called on the Kenyan government to relax COVID-19 containment measures and adopt effective protocols to spur Kenya’s economy.
In a notice of motion to the National Assembly dated Tuesday, August 10, the party through Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir argued that the stringent measure put in place by the Ministry of Health to flatten the COVID-19 curve have negatively affected the economy.
According to Nassir, who is also the Public Investment Committee (PIC) chairman, Kenya’s economy has been greatly affected due to mass layoffs, closures of businesses occasioned by dwindling profits and general low purchasing power among Kenyans.
He said Kenya’s economy has been further affected by a weak shilling, fluctuating global trade, and strain on medical facilities which took effect immediately after the government imposed COVID-19 containment measures.
“COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate Kenyans as exemplified by its staggering effects on economic growth that have led to massive job losses and unprecedented layoffs, an underperforming financial market, distortion of monetary and fiscal policies,” Nassir said.
While compelling the government to fully reopen Kenya’s economy, the ODM party which recently called off a major rally over COVID-19 fears has further proposed mass vaccination, remodeling of the Kazi Mtaani initiative, and enhanced stipend for the elderly, orphans, and the vulnerable.
“The vaccine uptake is slow and needs to be greatly boosted for the country to climb out the current economic pit,” Nassir said in his submission to parliament.
Nassir attributed the country’s dwindling economy to the frequent lockdowns among other containment measures including the nationwide ongoing curfew.
“We’re deeply concerned that the frequent lockdowns instituted by the executive are a key cause of the underperforming economy despite the noble intention,” he added.
Kenya has confirmed 215,730 cases of Covid-19 infections and 4,241 fatalities, with the disease devastating crucial sectors such as tourism and hospitality.