NAIROBI – Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has cautioned traders in the country against raising prices of basic commodities in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The President said traders should conduct their businesses right and justly adding that law enforcement agencies have started taking punitive actions against offending businesses.
“Again as I said on Sunday and I repeat, even to our traders our supermarkets owners do your business, do it right, do it justly.
“Nobody in this country has ever had a problem with people making profit but indeed it is highly immoral if you take advantage of the unfortunate situation to make super profits,” President Kenyatta said.
The President spoke this morning when he met members of the Governing Council of the Kenya Bankers Association Governing Council at State House, Nairobi.
The bankers were led by the Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge who briefed the Head of State on the measures being taken by the banking sector to cushion Kenyans against the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The President commended the banking sector for coming up with a raft of measures and urged the business community to emulate that spirit.
“When it comes to hand sanitizers, when it comes to food, when it comes to goods and services that people need, I am appealing to all our business fraternity to act like our friends in the banking sector,” the President said.
The Head of State said the Government is open and will continue to dialogue with all stakeholders so as to address challenges being faced by citizens as the country battles the outbreak.
Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge and the Chairman of the Kenya Bankers Association Governing Council who is also the KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara, announced that the banking sector had agreed to reschedule payments of personal loans for up to one year as part of the various measures aimed at cushioning Kenyans from the effects of the pandemic.
“One of the things that we have agreed on is that the banks will seek to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans based on their individual circumstances arising from the pandemic,” Dr Njoroge said.
The Central Bank Governor announced that personal loans, which account for 28 percent of all borrowing from local commercial banks, that were current on 2nd of March this year will be eligible to the new arrangement.
“So if you have a personal loan and it has been current until March 2nd and you are getting difficulties particularly because of the pandemic directly or indirectly, you can go to your bank and they can discuss with you extending it,” Dr Njoroge said.
He said for corporate borrowers and SME’s, the banks will be ready to hold discussions with them on restructuring of their loans.
The Central Bank Governor said costs of rescheduling and restructuring of loans will be borne by the banks.
On mobile banking, Dr Njoroge said banks have agreed to waive all charges for balance enquiry adding that the banking sector will carry out a public health awareness campaign on Coronavirus through their outlets.
On his part Mr Oigara, expressed optimism that by the banking sector working with Government and all stakeholders, the Kenyan economy will remain stable.
“So, I am confident we, if we pull together as a team even in this environment we will get the solutions that Kenyans require, ” the KCB CEO said.
Present were National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani and the Principal Secretary in the Ministry Dr Julius Muia among other senior Government officials.