Kenya – casino workers’ union wants businesses reopened

The casino employees’ union has written to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i asking him to allow them to reopen their businesses with strict adherence to rules for containing the coronavirus.

Chairman Mark Wanyanga noted 15.08 that many have remained jobless since March, when the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Kenya and measures such as the closure of some businesses taken to curb its spread.

“We are requesting the CS to consider reopening our businesses to enable us earn a living,”

– Mr Wanyanga, noting the industry has employed more than 10,000 people who take direct or indirect care of at least 30,000 others.

Debt burden

The employees further noted that they are drowning in debt and have been threatened by lenders and auctioneers, who say they will pay penalties should they delay or fail to clear payment of loans.

“Banking institutions have equally refused to issue moratoriums thus [worsening] the problem. Our situation is bad since most of our members have been rendered homeless as they cannot pay rent. Some are clueless as to what to do with their families and majority are depressed by the risk of permanent job loss.”

– said Mr Benson Luganji, who read a statement on behalf of the workers.

Other employees said they were forced to move to smaller houses as they were unable to pay their bills while others sent their families to the villages.

“Our lives will be headed for doom if the government does not intervene and solve work-related issues,”

The union also said that should operations remain suspended, the foreigners who are their employers will end their investments, which will result in mass layoffs.


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