Teachers strike tests Jubilee’s resilience

July 18, 2013 2:51 pm
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A couple of policies have been finalised and submitted to Parliament with a promise to address some of these challenges and maybe even push for the creation of the one million jobs to youths per year, as promised at the height of the campaigns/FILE
A couple of policies have been finalised and submitted to Parliament with a promise to address some of these challenges and maybe even push for the creation of the one million jobs to youths per year, as promised at the height of the campaigns/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – A debilitating four week strike by teachers; another strike by nurses of the Kenyatta National Hospital and a looming strike by civil servants are challenges that have dogged the Jubilee government in its first 100 days in office.

And yet with an undeterred resilience, the Jubilee government soldiers on albeit with caution as it tries to handle the blows dealt to its Labour, Social Security and Services sector.

A couple of policies have been finalised and submitted to Parliament with a promise to address some of these challenges and maybe even push for the creation of the one million jobs to youths per year, as promised at the height of the campaigns.

“The National Employment Policy and Strategies for Kenya aimed at addressing the country’s perennial challenge of unemployment especially among the youth is to be transformed into a Sessional Paper,” reads a statement from the ministry.

The government has also created what it calls the New Wages Order which is meant to cushion the working poor through minimum wages.

Indeed on May 1, President Uhuru Kenyatta raised the minimum wage by 14 percent.

And although some employers complained about the increase saying it was unfair, others are already enacting it.

“The Orders are General Wages Order and the Agricultural Wages Order,” explains the ministry.

A joint memorandum between the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Kenya Revenue Authority on the collection of NSSF contributions has also been sent to the Cabinet for approval.

Other items that the ministry has achieved is the simplification of the labour law for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, particularly touching the matatu industry, as well as policies touching child labour.

The government is also set to embark on a venture by the NSSF to develop 30,000 housing units within Machakos County.

“One hundred and fifty three thousand households have been supported under the orphans and vulnerable cash transfer programme. These households are given a cash stipend of Sh4,000 every two months,” argues the ministry.

Some 14,700 persons with disabilities, from all the counties, have also been placed under the Persons with Severe Disabilities Cash Transfer Programme.

“Fifty nine thousand beneficiaries in 47 Counties are also being supported under the older persons cash transfer programme,” notes the ministry.

“Ten thousand two hundred beneficiaries in Mombasa County have also been supported under the Urban Food Subsidy Cash Transfer Programme.”

Jubilee’s three month tenure has also seen an additional 65 charitable children institutions registered bringing to total the number of such bodies to 674.

A census of persons living with albinism has also been conducted but stakeholders feel that it was a shambolic affair.

And although the government insists that the census was a smooth affair, concerned parties argue that it did not capture the number of persons living with albinism adequately.

“Registration of persons living with albinism was to assist in provision of sunscreen lotions which reduce the effect of sun rays on them,” argues the ministry.

Well, the Jubilee duo of Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are only 100 days into their five year tenure.

How they fare and rate will depend on their performance in the days that lie ahead.

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