The government wants Fairmont Group to explain its reasons for closing two of its establishments and sending home all its employees.
On Thursday, the hotel shut down Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club due to the effects of the novel COVID-19 and floods.
In a letter doing rounds on social media, the hotel management explained that all employees will be sent home, with only those that have served the hotel for over five years getting severance pay while others will get a one month’s pay in lieu.
“It is regrettable that our hotels, Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club have since ceased their operations as a spiral effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent flooding of Fairmont Mara Safari Club. These unprecedented natural causes have resulted in disruption of our business now and in the unforeseeable future,” the hotel said.
“Due to the uncertainty of when and how the impact of the global pandemic will result in the business picking up in the near future, we are left with no option but to close down the business indefinitely”.
But according to solicitor general Kennedy Ogeto, the hotel’s decision will have a great impact on a lot of households and the economy hence a matter of public importance.
In the letter copied to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, AG Paul Kihara, Labour CS Simon Chelugui, and PS Peter Tum, Mr Ogeto said, “This matter is of public importance and great concern to the government and in view of the Attorney General’s mandate to promote, protect, and uphold the rule of law and defend public interest, this office should be very grateful if you would provide it with clarification regarding the said media reports and complaints from employees including on the veracity thereof and justification for taking such action, if this is the case.”
Fairmont joined a number of businesses that have closed down due to the adverse economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, and also globally.
Two months ago, the Serena Group of Hotels closed down temporarily while Sarova Hotels and Resorts Kenya announced cessation in the management of two lodges within Taita Hills wildlife Sanctuary effective July 1, 2020.