By Ndungu Gachane
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (KNCC) wants the National Government to lift the cessation of movement from Muranga County to Thika since the barrier has led to massive loss of business opportunities.
The Chamber led by Muranga County Chapter Mr Festus Kamau Thanduru also want the County Governments to waive land rates, business permits, and liquor licenses for a period of six months to give entrepreneurs a time to re establish after being hit hard by the CoronaVirus pandemic.
“Most of the businesses in Thika are owned by Muranga people who have faced untold suffering and difficulties to access Thika town die to the barrier at Blue Post, we urge government to consider relocating the barrier to Githurai for smooth access to our business premises in Thika, the grace period we are requesting the County Governments will help us re invent since we are in a very hard situation,” Mr Thanduru said.
Mr Thanduru noted that people from Gatanga can not also access Thika town as they will have to divert to Nairobi Thika Highway and then divert at the barrier to Thika Nairobi Highway to access Thika town.
They also want County governments to follow a leaf from Kiambu County who have reduced their parking fees by 50 per cent.
The Chamber has also decried unavailability of testing kits and to facilitate free Covid-19 testing services to the businesses that are planning to re open.
On his part, Mr Simon Njoroge alias Simo Wa Jogoo, said the pandemic has seen many businesses face business liquidity drying up, delayed payments, job losses, disrupted supply chain and diminished working capital in the hospitality sector.
“We humbly call on government to open hospitality sector even if it is for limited hours to allow take away for bars, the pandemic has hit businesses with small margins,” he said.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) estimates that 75 per cent of the SME sector will shut down it’s operations hence KNCC’s raft of proposals for government to safeguard the sector