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Murkomen's Coronavirus Plan a Betrayal to Kenyans - Sakaja
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|Murkomen's Coronavirus Plan a Betrayal to Kenyans - Sakaja by Kenyans247(1): Thu 19, March, 2020 10:36am|
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja dismissed Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen's motion calling for Senators to adjourn for two weeks following the coronavirus outbreak.
In an address to the Senate on Tuesday, March 18, Sakaja insisted that it is not the time for Senators to consider going home but should instead be working to solve Kenyan problems in their legislative capacity.
"I am against this adjournment of the Senate for both scientific and legal reasons. Legal reasons are that people need us today more than before. These actions being taken at a time of crisis need oversight. We need to ask questions, Madam Speaker, and in many different aspects," Sakaja stated.
He further added that because of the outbreak, Kenyans needed their Senators more in the Senate that in the counties visiting hospitals and assessing the status of patients quarantined in various facilities."The US Congress has just passed the Coronavirus Relief Bill. What legislative intervention have we come up with at this point? There is a Coronavirus Response Legislation being debated in the House of Lords, having come from the House of Commons. What are we doing here apart from debating going home?" he posed
Sakaja added that while he did not have issues with the government's initiative to shut down all the non-essential services to curb the spread of the virus, the Senate and other representative bodies was an essential service that should keep going.
"Representation is extremely essential at a time of crisis. We have the comfort here to have sanitizers, running water to wash our hands, to sit at a social distance and be able to address these issues. We are safer than the people we represent. So in these 14 days madam Speaker, what are we going to do?" he posed.
Sakaja further added that with Nairobi being the ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic, sending 67 members of the Senate back to the counties was counterintuitive as they could be carriers and would spread it to their respective regions.
He told the House that at the moment, there is so much that is happening and would require the Senate's intervention in the coming days even as the number of infections keeps rising.
"Is there an economic stimulus that we are thinking about because there are a lot of people who are going to be affected? Can we talk about the Finance and Budgeting Committee in the National Assembly? They should think about halting some of these taxes on certain essential commodities. That is what we should be talking about now."
"We should also be talking about the proposals given by the government on cashless transactions. We should be sitting down with CS Yattani and the Central Bank and see how we are going to effect these transactions," he added.
The Nairobi Senator further added that the debates should be centred around cushioning the poor in informal settlements and streamlining the public service industry to afford Kenyans the comfort of social distancing in matatus.
He told the Senators that by the time they resume from the recess, there is bound to be an increase in the number of infections recorded in the country, and that, in his opinion, was when the Senate should adjourn having set measures in place to combat the virus.
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