KEPSA urges gov’t to re-open economy

KEPSA-Chairman Nicholas Nesbit during a past event.KEPSA has urged the government to reopen the economy gradually .PHOTO Albert Mwangeka

Members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) have called on the government to gradually and partially re-open the country to preserve the economy and support health response to the COVID-19. 

Speaking during a virtual meeting with the government chaired by interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’ i, KEPSA Chief Executive Carole Karuga said the effort must be made to ensure there is continued economic activity in the country while upholding measures to safeguard against the virus

“Coronavirus is the new global reality. We are working hard to protect our people and curb the spread whilst, getting the economy on a recovery path through ensuring both formal and informal sectors resume normalcy,” Karuga said during the meeting.

“The Government and the private sector can develop a practical recovery strategy that balances health, economic, and societal needs respectively,” she said.

However, Matiang’i warned about a rush in opening saying that other economies that have recently re-opened had witnessed a spike in infection rates. 

“All the proposals presented by KEPSA will be consolidated into a white paper of private sector protocols as the government considers easing containment measures,” Matiang’i said.

Among KEPSA proposals include a phased opening of the economy, starting with the reduction of the curfew hours for non-essential services and sectors including retail sectors, in what they argue will allow for more economic activity and workforce.

KEPSA also wants crucial government offices and departments that have either been closed or at limited capacity, opened including the land registry and judiciary.

These proposals come even the number of positive COVID-19 cases across the country keeps rising, with Wednesday recording the highest number of 123 cases.