Former Kiambu Governor, William Kabogo has put added his voice on the ongoing debate on whether the country should be put on a total lockdown or not. This has been brought about by the increasing cases of COVID-19 victims which rose to 25 by Tuesday evening.
Kabogo, in a self-recorded video, said he was responding to a tweet by Donald Kipkorir who had claimed that lockdown was ill advised since majority of Kenyans didn’t have a way of survival incase of a lockdown.
William Kabogo stated that a lockdown was not only important but very urgent at such a time to prevent any further escalation of virus spread. This he said was a crucial step in stopping those already infected from spreading it to others.
The greatest concerns to Kenyans has been they will survive incase of a lockdown. Most companies are expected to layoff of some staffs, put staff on half pay or unpaid leaves. This would mean no enough resources to cater for food and utilities during the lockdown.
Kabogo proposed that the parliament should move with speed and enact a lockdown bill to salvage the situation.
The bill, according to Kabogo, should allow citizens not to pay rent or any other utility bill. In return, the landlords and properties owners should be allowed to declare the incomes foregone as expenses in income taxes computation.
“And am telling these jamaas (the MPs) to to parliament and come up with a lockdown bill”, said Kabogo
The former governor, who has since his departure from office been a crusader of public interests, asked Kenyans to plead with their MPs to move with speed, draft and pass a bill on the lockdown situation.
In light of the expected economic hardships, some landlords have already started cushioning their tenants by reducing the rent burden. Earlier this week, a landlord in Nyandarua indentified as Michael Munene, pardoned tenants rent for the next two months.
This caused a widespread call for other tenants to follow suits. Landlords association, however, claims that members have expenses attached to their premises and therefore foregoing rent income for two months would sink them into financial strains.
“Some landlords have loans they are servicing with these houses. Asking them not to receive rent is subjecting them to possible default for loan repayments”, read the statements.
On issue of citizens failing to receive wages and salaries during the lockdown, Kabogo proposed that the employers make the wages payments as usual even in absence of the staff from work place and in return be allowed to declare them as allowable expenses for income tax purposes.
Should the bill, as proposed by Governor Kabogo, sail through, Kenyans would be relieved the burden of rent and other bills during the lockdown.