Uhuru raises minimum wage for Kenyan workers
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday raised the minimum wage by 12 per cent.
Announcing the increment during this year’s International Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park, the President said the raise was aimed at improving the lives of those on the lowest rung of the Kenyan workforce.
“Last year we did not increase the minimum wage because we said we should work first. Today, we have increased the minimum wage because we have earned it,” the President said.
He gave assurances that the government is also working to enforce parity and equity in the terms and conditions of salaries of public servants.
However, President Kenyatta said the clamour for salary increases should not just be pegged on the cost of living but also on productivity, and appealed on both public and private sector workers to increase productivity to boost economic growth and justify future raises.
The Head of State called on all citizens to work together in building a strong and prosperous nation.
He urged leaders to focus on serving Kenyans and reject divisive politics.
“Let us not criticise for the sake of doing so. Let us be on the path of doing, let us try to make our country much better,” he said.
On security, the Head of State reiterated his determination to make the country safe, saying the government is providing modern equipment to security agencies and is improving their welfare.
He said Kenyans should also play their part by being vigilant, saying the country can only be safer if citizens work closely with the government on security matters.
“Terrorist and criminals live amongst us, they know no tribe or religion. It is upon each one of us to know who our neighbours are and report those with ill motives. We should not politicise security issues.”
President Kenyatta affirmed that he would continue leading the war against corruption, saying that it is one of the ways of improving the country’s economy.
The occasion, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu), was also addressed by acting Labour Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo. The CS asked the labour movement to maintain an atmosphere of calm which would accelerate economic and social development.
“Social dialogue denotes open and respectful discourse between the key protagonists in the labour sector; the workers, their employers and government,” she said.
Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli and Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general Wilson Sossion said they supported the President’s efforts in the war against graft and urged him not to relent.
“Your efforts to fight corruption in this country have been noted strongly by all of us in the labour movement. We have resolved to stand by you to the bitter end. We will team up and support you in every step you take to salvage this country from corruption,” said Mr Sossion.
Other speakers included Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and the Federation of Kenya Employers Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo.