COTU urges government to deal with poverty

COTU urges government to deal with poverty

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A man selects Maize flour in a supermarket Maize flour prices have gone up PHOTO COURTESY

Mombasa,KENYA:Central Organization of Trade Unions Coast branch wants the government to come up with a methodology of dealing with the upsurge of poverty in the country.

Addressing the public on Monday during the Labour day celebrations at the Tononoka Grounds Gideon Mutiso the COTU Secretary General Coast region, said according to a research recently conducted by the organization the rate of poverty has gone up.

The official added that the Jua kali sector has contributed a bigger percentage of the national economy but surprisingly the government has not fully recognized its contribution towards the country’s economic growth.

“As per the research that we conducted recently, the rate of poverty has risen. Despite the fact that the Jua Kali sector has contributed a bigger percentage of the country’s’ economy the government has not recognized the sector so far.”  Mutiso said.

He remarked that Jua Kali workers have been living an impoverished life and described the situation as a stumbling block in developing the country.

He urged the Ministry of Labour to come develop appropriate employment policies aimed at stabilizing the country’s economy and pointed out that the organization does not have sufficient funds to finance all employees in the country.

At the same time, Mombasa Deputy County Commissioner Mahmud Salim said the rights of both the employer and the employee are guaranteed in the Kenyan constitution and therefore both parties have a right to celebrate this year’s Labour day.

Concerning matters of national security as the country gears towards the August elections, Mahmud said the government has beefed up security in every corner of the country and warned politicians aiming to disrupt state security adding that they will face the full force of the law.

“Both the employer and the employee are assured of their rights in by the prime law of the land. On matters of security we have taken all the measures to ensure that everyone observes the law. We are therefore giving out stern warning to politician and citizens whose aim is to threaten state security.” The security official warned.

He also warned Kenyans over incitement statements aimed at dividing the nation along tribal inclinations adding that security officers are always awake to monitor any form of hate speech streaming through the

Nyali legislator Hezron Awiti pointed out that the welfare of employees should be taken into consideration so that their standard of living can be uplifted.

The Member of Parliament however urged employers to employ more youths in order to reduce the rate of unemployment experienced in the country.

“The welfare of employees should be taken into consideration so that their standards of living can be uplifted. I urge employers to employ more youths to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.” The legislator said.

During the Labour Day celebrations this year, President Uhuru  Kenyatta increased the minimum wage by 18 per cent  to all workers of the lowest cadres and further issued a directive to increase non taxable bonuses and overtime to sh 100,000 aimed at cushioning low income earners in the country.

President Uhuru statement has come at a time when the price of most essential commodities has gone up thereby making the lives of many Kenyans difficult as most of them live below the poverty line.

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