Kenyan transport workers through the Transport Workers Union Kenya now want President Uhuru Kenyatta to suspend the Covid-19 containment measures “due to unfair treatment”.
In a letter to the President, the Union’s secretary general Dan Mihadi says that the government has been treating them as the weakest link in the fight against Covid-19. He says that despite being the only people making sure that the economy continues, the government has not cushioned them to ensure they work seamlessly.
Mr Mihadi also argued that vulnerable drivers and other transport workers have been left out in the economy stimulus package being applied in other sectors.
“We note that the Economic stimulus is not being applied in equal measures to all sectors. Transport sector especially the public transport in the country has been left out of the package yet it is grounded.The narrative being pushed by the government through this Ministry of Transport portraying the transport sector negatively as the key sector spreading the Covid-19 virus must stop,” said Miradi.
“Time and again for instance, truck drivers have demanded to be protected and given security at cross borders areas but the ministry has not assured them of the same”.
The Union also wants the government to suspend the directive that requires all cargo to be transported by rail to Naivasha from Mombasa.
“A directive to have cargo transported by SGR from Mombasa to Naivasha so as to curb the spread of Covid-19is a threat to the drivers and devastating to the transport companies and worker,” added the Union.
The Union also wants the government to supply free masks and sanitizers to transport workers in a bid to help them fight Covid-19.
They are also demanding that free medical care and certification be offered to all transport workers, and also allow all workers who have lost their jobs to travel upcountry.