Kenya Marks Historic Labour Day Under Covid-19 Pandemic [VIDEO]

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation at State House, Nairobi, in April 2020
    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation at State House, Nairobi, in April 2020
  • Since the first Covid-19 case was announced in the country on March 13, 2020, labour day has been the first holiday that has been celebrated.

    The holiday attended by few leaders was led by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi, in a ceremony that followed directives that have been set by the government to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

    Some of the leaders who were present during the ceremony included; COTU Sec-Gen Francis Atwoli, Water and Labour CS Simon Chelugui and his PS Peter Tum.

    Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli addresses a gathering.
    Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli addresses a gathering.

    While delivering his speech, Atwoli showered praises on the president for presiding over the 55th International Labour Day and standing with the workers throughout his term as president. 

    He acknowledged that this year's celebration would be marked differently in order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

    "If it were not for the pandemic, today we would have been at Uhuru Park, celebrating with other Kenyans. This year's Labour Day will be remembered for many years to come due to the difficulty and challenging health circumstances," Atwoli stated.

    Also, Atwoli thanked Health CS Mutahi Kagwe for specifically asking employers not to fire their employees in both the formal and informal sectors at this difficult time.

    He thanked employers who had retained their workers and further requested them not to mercilessly issue pay cuts on staff.

    Further, he thanked health workers, security officers, various companies that were supplying face masks at the time of need and all the essential service providers.

    He was optimistic that despite the pandemic weighing down the country, Kenya would re-build the economy in the shortest time possible time.

    In matters politics, the COTU boss lauded the president for repossessing a 3,000-acre parcel of land in Ruai, Nairobi County which had been grabbed by private developers.

    He asked the president not to get tired of repossessing plots initially owned by the government.

    "Be aggressive in that quest the way your government was when it was reclaiming the Ruai land. I support you,” Atwoli advised.

    On the other hand, President Uhuru Kenyatta Kenyatta acknowledged that businesses had closed down abruptly, opportunities had been lost and working hours had reduced across the world.

    He urged Kenyans not to tire in the fight against the virus in order to ensure that things went back to normal and enable the economy to go back to a strong growth path.

    "I feel the loss that many in our country are going through. The hardest hit in our country are workers especially in the informal sector, business owners, self-employed, majority of whom are young people who may not be cushioned from the pandemic," he stated.

    Additionally, he warned Kenyans against politicising the fight against Coronavirus.

    He stated that the Covid-19 funds would be accounted for and all the money that has been used would be audited in broad daylight.

    Below is a video courtesy of K24 TV;