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National Assembly Convenes Special Session on Coronavirus

The National Assembly plans to reconvene a special sitting to map out the road map for the implementation of the Executive Orders and Policies aimed at mitigating the ripple effects of Covid-19 in the country.
This move comes a day after the Senate approved the formation committee to spearhead the COVID 19 mitigation efforts in-line with the ministry Health recommendations in which only 28 members attended the session to observe the WHO guidelines on social distancing and hygiene maintenance, as well as avoiding overcrowding.
In a Gazette Notice published earlier in the week, National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi, recalled the House to have a special sitting, so as to discuss President Uhuru Kenyatta Executive Directive that sought to set up Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund to aid in mobilising resources to curb the pandemic.
Yesterday, the Senate in their first of such special sitting, agreed to give back Sh. 200 million so as to be used towards containing the spread of the virus as well as mitigation efforts to boost the economic stimulus.
Following the Presidential Directive, the National Treasury on Tuesday, published the Public Finance Management, which is key in setting up the Emergency Response Fund.
The Fund is expected to mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus which has seen business go down at an all-time low and Kenyans worried on how the coming days will have in store for them.
In a press statement sent to news rooms earlier this week, Kenyatta said that the Seed Capital of the Fund shall be drawn from the Exchequer, individual voluntary cuts undertaken by those in senior ranks in the Executive, Judiciary and the County Governments.
“The Executive cuts also shall be supplemented by donations by Kenyan individuals, corporate entities, grants from development partners, multi-national institutions and gifts,” read part of the statement.
According to the statement, the Fund will be spearheaded by the Kenya Breweries Ltd, Managing Director, Jane Karuku and the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, with the Secretary as Kennedy Kihara.
Members include the Acting Safaricom CEO, Michael Joseph, Equity Group Chief Executive, Dr James Mwangi, Dr Narenda Raval, KCB CEO, Joshua Oigara and Absa Bank Kenya, PLC Managing Director, Jeremy Awori.
Others are the Royal Media Services MD Wachira Waruru, Mohammed Hersi and Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga.
Interior CS Fred Matiangi and the Chairperson Council of Governors, Wycliffe Oparanya are joint representatives of the government while Kennedy Kihara will be the Secretary to the Board,
The House is thus expected to expedite the process of putting in place legislative walkways that will ensure that the Fund is up and running so as to contain the dreaded virus which has since seen over 40,000 people dead globally, with Kenya having lost one person to it and having 59 cases as of current.

By Gworo Alice

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