Permanent monthly earners, among whom some were layed off, claim that life is difficult for them during the lockdown period as they are earning nothing, and are optimistic that the future of their works is uncertain.
Experts in economy and wealth request the governments to plan for a long-term initiative to support private workers affected by consequences of COVID-19 pandemic during this period they are locked down.
Nelly Ndayikunda, a teacher in Estern Province of Rwanda says that “This outbreak caused many problems for people who had jobs; the only lucky people are those who have government works, but the problem is always to those in private sector, even though they are now allowed to work, they select some who deliver most important assignments, the ones who stay home have no hope to return at work. Another problem is that private sector workers do not get salary as they stay home, this will cause poverty issues.
She wishes that the government can continue looking for ways to support people who are not getting salaries by giving them loans to be paid later when the lockdown is over.
“What I can request the government and employers is to cater for people who lost kobs and salaries by giving them loan supports,” Ndayikunda said.
Bruce Kayitare was working in Made in Rwanda factory that manufactures handbags said that they earn when they have worked
“Myself I would love to rersume work, we have families who need to eat, what I can request the government is to allow people who had jobs to resume and always respect the covid-19 preventiuon measures, because especially city dwellers do not have other ways to survive than salaries.” he said.
Straton Habyarimana, an economist, told Express News that people in informal sector will continue to face consequences of the lockdown as they are no allowed to work.
“The lockdown is a way of protecting people from covid-19 contamination but a big problem that affects their living conditions is poverty, when the government does not look for further strategies to help such people like in Malawi, where they are taking the minimum salary of workers in informal sector and give them money during the lockdown period, their lives will remain in obstacles,”
Straton Habyarimana, senior Program Manager Responsible Finance through Local Leadership and Learning (RFL3)
“In Rwanda, they took initiative to give food commodities to people but not everyone has accessing on them, for example people who were working in pubs and restaurants are facing huge consequences as they are earning nothing. There is a need to think on how these people are living nowadays as they need money to tackle various basic needs at home, protecting their lives is a super measure but the government should also manage to help them financially.” Habyarimana noted.
He gave an example of how other countries managed to help people survive during this period of the pandemic, citing Sweden, Norvege, and Scandinavia countries, where citizens were not traumatized by COVID-19.
“They have safetynet initiative where every citizen has basic needs like own house, electricity and those who have not food the governments intervene for support. In these countries they cannot get challenges of living conditions during any disaster or an outbreak such as covid-19. In USA for example, a number of people can request for government support because they do not have jobs, we do not have such a system in Rwanda but it can help if we get the same.” He said.
He said that sustaining a country’s development is having healthy citizens and ensure safetynet for all, second is start up capital for citizens to create employments and try to have savings that can help them restart their businesses in case of epidemics like this one of covid-19; the third one is to have a strategy of following up the living conditions of citizens and their capacity to advance their welfare, this can help the government to manage the activity of giving them supports in a case like this,” he said.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame (left) is seen during a virtual press conference in Kigali on April 27, 2020. PHOTO | URUGWIRO
During an extra-ordinary press conference with His Excellency President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame on April 27, 2020, he embarked on the future of Rwanda’s economy after covid-19, saying that many things within current government and private budget will change.
Kagame noted that the government will do whatever possible to support most affected businesses by covid-19.
Rwanda’s confirmed COVID-19 cases now stand at 255 after 12 new cases were recorded on Saturday, 3 May. The new cases were drawn from 1,197 samples that were tested in the last 24 hours.
The Express News