Set up Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund,Uhuru directs Treasury

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BY  UPESI NEWS DESK,NAIROBI,30TH MARCH,2020-President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday  constituted a 10-member board to oversee the soon to be established Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund.

The board will play a key role in fostering the national response to the pandemic.

“To foster our national response to the Coronavirus pandemic, His Excellency the President has directed the National Treasury to set up the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund,” Statehouse spokesperson Kanze Dena said in a statement.

The board will be chaired by Jane Karuku and its members include acting Safaricom CEO Micheal Joseph, Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi, Dr Narenda Raval, KCB CEO Joshua Oigara and Absa Bank Kenya PLC managing director Jeremy Awori.

Others are Royal Media Services MD Wachira Waruru, Mohammed Hersi and Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga.

While Kennedy Kihara will be the secretary to the board, Uhuru has designated Interior CS Fred Matiangi and the Chairperson Council of Governors Wycliffe Oparanya as joint representatives of the government.

The principal object of the Fund shall be to mobilize resources for an emergency response towards containing the spread, effects and impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

According to Kanze, the seed capital of the fund shall be drawn from the Exchequer including voluntary salary cuts undertaken by senior ranks of the executive, judiciary, legislature and county governments.

“The Exchequer contributions shall be supplemented by donations by Kenyan individuals and corporate entities, grants from our development partners and multinational institutions, and such other gifts, subscriptions and contributions as the Fund may receive from time to time,” she said.

“The Government of Kenya calls upon all Kenyans, Corporate Entities both domestic and multinational, as well as our international development partners to support the national initiative.”

Kanze said by so doing Kenya will be better able to successfully contain the spread, effects and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to its citizens and particularly those vulnerable in the society.

The President last week while announcing targeted interventions towards cushioning Kenyans against the shocks of the disease, said he along with Deputy President William Ruto will take a salary cut of 80 per cent.

Uhuru also said while Cabinet Secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries of respective ministries would get a 30 per cent pay cut while all Principal secretaries would get a 20 per cent cut.

Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Ken Lusaka (Senate) have also undertaken to take a 30 per cent pay cut.

Chief Justice David Maraga and his deputy Philomena Mwilu have also agreed to take a 30 per cent pay cut for three months to make a contribution towards mitigating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Maraga said the other four judges of the Supreme Court have agreed to take a 20 per cent pay cut for three months.

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