Coronavirus: Governor Mutua waives water charges in Machakos, urges Gov’t to suspend electricity, water bills

Coronavirus: Governor Mutua waives water charges in Machakos, urges Gov't to suspend electricity, water bills
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua. PHOTO| COURTESY

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua is now urging the government to waive electricity and water bills for household consumption as part of additional measures to cushion Kenyans from the tough economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mutua is proposing that Kenya Power waives domestic electricity bills for the next six months and public water companies around the country to also not charge water for household consumption for a similar period.

“The electricity waiver can be up to a certain level of usage that is enough for household use for lighting and other household appliances use. Over consumption can then be charged. Businesses and industries’ bills should also receive a 50% discount to cushion them during these slow economic times,” said Mutua in a statement on Sunday.

According to the Machakos Governor, the suspension of household electricity bills would not deal a major financial dent on Kenya Power, adding that the electricity distributor can afford to waive charges for even a year.

“It is at times like these that we need to remember that Kenya is not only for the able and rich. Majority of Kenyans live from hand to mouth and struggle to make ends meet. There is need to cushion them using practical measures which only reduce profits of some companies without affecting their operations.

“Last year, for example, Kenya Power declared a whopping profit of Ksh.334 million. Studying the company’s declared financial estimates and revenue, it is clear that KPLC can afford to waive power charges for households for even a year,” added Mutua.

On his part, the Machakos Governor says water charges for household consumption in the county will be waived from May 1 to the end of the year.

“On my part, I am waving all water charges for household consumption in Machakos county from May 1st until the end of the year, Dec 31st, 2020, as we continue working towards free domestic water in the whole of Machakos County,” he said.

At the same time, Mutua is further urging the National Treasury to waive VAT charges on cooking gas and paraffin so as to allow households save money to buy food and other essential commodities.

Earlier this week, the Machakos Governor called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to set up and fund a scientific team to find a cure for the coronavirus.

According to Mutua, it is critical for the country to invest in finding a cure, vaccine or drug combination to fight COVID-19 even as the National Emergency Response Committee on coronavirus monitors and strives to stem the spread of the disease.

“Coronavirus will not cure itself. What we are doing now is managing the spread and this can go on forever. Therefore finding a cure, a vaccine, or drug combination that stops it is critical,” said the Governor on Thursday.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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