BY PETER KOMBE
A section of youth activists in Mombasa County have faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent state of the nation address claiming that it only targets the rich.
The human rights defenders argue that most Kenyans live below the poverty line and the tax free directive to Kenyans earning less than sh24, 000 is irrelevant to the common man.
Speaking to the media in Mombasa early this week, Coast Region Students Association Secretary General Edwin Shamir recommended that the president should have cut down the cost of basic household commodities instead of focusing on tax reduction.
Shamir wants the government to distribute relief food for to the underprivileged throughout the country as the COVID-19 pandemic bites the country.
“There is need for the government to reduce the price of basic commodities like sugar and bread. Most Kenyans are poor How does this tax free directive assist the common man?
He says most Kenyans are spending the better part of the day on empty stomachs and the corona virus should not be used as a parameter.
He accused a section of Coast Governors on claims of closing markets adding that they have no people’s interests at heart.
“Where do you want your citizens to buy their house hold commodities,”? Posed Shamir
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Jey a youth hailing from Mvita Sub County urged the government to put in place effective measures to ensure that Kenyans get sanitizers and stay hunger free during the covid-19 period.
He called on the government to distribute relief food to families living in Likoni Sub County.
“As we combat COVID19, Kenyans are battling with hunger. This is because of the directive of staying indoors by President Uhuru Kenyatta” he said.
Ibrahim urged the police force adhere to the law while handling commuters at the Likoni channel.
At the same time, Otieno Simba from Majengo in Mvita Sub County said that due to the corona virus pandemic thousands of youths have been rendered jobless.
According to him, the pandemic may lead to an escalation of criminal activities in many areas of the county.
“Citizens are ready to abide by the law. Is there any plan to address the plight facing slum dwellers?”
He wants the president to focus on youth employment and eradication of hunger in his upcoming state of the nation address.
ADHERE TO NIGHT CURFEW DIRECTIVE, YOUTH TOLD
Meanwhile Likoni Sub county coordinator from the office of the senator Shekue Naaman says youth forming a larger part of the population should adhere to the precautionary measures to avoid spreading the virus.
He wants the youths in the area to follow the government’s directive of staying indoors adding that most of them have a tendency of staying outdoors till late hours.
“Corona virus is claiming may lives in Italy and other parts of the world. We can only be safe if we remain indoors,” he said.
Shekue says by adhering to the night curfew the youth will be able to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
He castigated a recent incident at the Likoni channel where police officers allegedly tortured commuters and journalists before the official hours of the curfew.
“We condemn with the strongest terms possible the earlier incident at the ferry. We want the regional police boss to put in place measures to ensure that Kenyans using the channel are safe,”
The Coordinator lauded the government’s move of extending the hours for the commuters using the channel.
The government on Wednesday announced that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 81 after confirming 22 new cases.
According to health CS Mutahi Kagwe Mombasa is leading other counties in all confirmed cases of COVID19 patients
Seven of the 22 patients who have tested positive are from Mombasa county while Kilifi, Kakamega, Kiambu, Machakos, Muranga, Nairobi Nyamira each have one of the confirmed cases as their counties of origin.
18 of the patients who tested positive are Kenyans while 2 are Cameroonians and the other two are Pakistani nationals.
13 of the confirmed cases are male while nine are female.