Senate proposes Ksh.200M be redirected from its budget to beef up coronavirus fund

Senate proposes Ksh.200M be redirected from its budget to beef up coronavirus fund

The Senate has contributed Ksh.200million towards the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Kenya.

A statement from Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said a number of measures have been taken by the various levels of Government and various State officers.

“The Senate Business Committee resolved that the Senate shall yield the sum of Ksh. 200 million from our budget allocation in the current Financial Year 2019/2020 to aid in the efforts of the Government in combating the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

This follows a committee meeting held on Monday, March 30, 2020.

The Speaker requested the Parliamentary Service Commission to take the necessary administrative measures to yield the stated sum from the budget of the Senate to the National Treasury.

So far, Kenya has reported 50 cases of the novel coronavirus, one death and one recovery.

The Senate announcement comes on the backdrop of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive for Treasury to establish the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

“The principal object of the Fund shall be to mobilize resources for emergency response towards containing the spread, effects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the statement from State House.

The seed capital of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is to be drawn from the Exchequer, including the voluntary salary-cuts undertaken by the senior ranks of the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature and County Governments.

Kenya Breweries Managing Director Jane W. Karuku has been nominated to serve as Chairperson for the Fund.

Board members will be:

  1. Royal Media Services MD Wachira Waruru (who is also the Chairman of the Media Owners Association)
  2. Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph
  3. Equity Group Managing Director Dr. James Mwangi
  4. Devki Group Chairman Dr. Narendra Raval
  5. Kenya Commercial Bank Group CEO Joshua Oigara
  6. Absa Bank Managing Director Jeremy Awori
  7. Kenya Tourism Fund Chairman Mohammed Hersi
  8. Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga
  9. PAS in the Office of the President Kennedy W. Kihara (nominated to serve as Secretary for the Fund)

Similarly, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya are to be the joint representatives of the Government.