It was just another National Super Alliance (NASA) political rally and not Workers’ Day celebrations during Labour Day in Nairobi, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has said.
Kuria attended the celebrations at Uhuru Park today but slid out before the celebrations ended, taking to social media to slam the event that was skipped by President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“It’s sad I attended Labour Day thinking its a Workers Day. It turns out to be just another NASA rally,” posted Kuria.
Kuria’s sentiments were supported by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, who also had the same view of the celebrations.
“Tuned in to hear what Atwoli had to say on the plight of workers, COTU’s score card & substantive agenda. Alas, he has hijacked the workers day and made it a Kieleweke/NASA rally. Disgusting! No wonder Uhuru Park is empty,” tweeted Kihika.
The meeting which was poorly attended by Kenyans was dominated by politics of handshake and leaders adding fuel to the fire of the fight against corruption.
Among senior politicians who attended the celebration include Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary genral who is also an ODM nominated MP Wilson Sossion.
This came despite the COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli recognising his(Kuria’s) support towards COTU, and pledging to reciprocate in the fight against corruption.
“I want to thank Moses kuria he has been so much supportive with me. We as Kenyans we want to support the President in fighting corruption,” said Atwoli.
During the event, Atwoli urged the government to effect a 15 per cent pay hike before implementing the contested 1.5 per cent housing levy.
Earlier on, the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) had issued a statement opposing the proposed increment, terming it as too high.
FKE Chairman Mark Obuya said that it is not the government’s mandate to increase salaries of private entity employees.
“General wage increases have a knock effect on the cost of doing business and the competitiveness of enterprises. Factors of wage determination such as productivity and ability of employers to pay must be taken into account. The proposal by COTU is therefore ill-advised,”stated FKE in a statement on Tuesday.
COTU and allied workers’ unions were left with an egg on their face as Labour CS Ukur Yatani, who was representing the government, refused to announce any salary increment. He however promised a review of the matter within a week.
“I wish to reiterate the Government’s commitment to the spirit of job creation, social dialogue, sound labour relations and social protection for the vulnerable,” said Yatani.