Kakamega Labour Day fete cancelled after funds hitch



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As workers in other parts of the country prepare to take part in processions to mark Labour Day celebrations, in Kakamega, the event has been cancelled due to a financial hitch.

The celebrations were to be held at Bukhungu Stadium but officials of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) said they were unable to proceed with preparations due lack of funds.

Over the last three years, the celebrations have been disrupted in the region due to poor planning by union officials who say they are no longer getting support from the local business community in organising the event.

Mr Caleb Jumba, the western region secretary of the Kenya Building Construction Timber and Furniture Industries Employees Union, said they had expected that some money would be sent from Cotu headquarters to facilitate the preparations.

“We have not received any money and that means that there won’t be any celebrations. There has been no communication from Cotu headquarters on the matter. I plan to attend the celebration in Kisumu,” said Mr Jumba.

In the past, the management of the financially troubled Mumias Sugar Company used to contribute towards the preparations.

But after the miller ran into financial difficulties, preparations for Labour Day celebrations have not been done due to lack of financial support.

Residents of Kakamega town said they will spend the day attending to their businesses.

“We are going through tough economic times and we don’t expect any good news even if we were to attend the celebrations,” said Mr Bernard Oundo, the chairman of traders at the county market.

He said there is nothing to celebrate about since the traders are struggling due to tough economic times and will be out at the market to try and sell their wares to pay school fees for their children and buy farm inputs for the current planting season.

“We are tired of the usual promises from the government and the unions. There is nothing new to expect from them. Traders will be in their stalls to try and sell their wares to survive the tough times,” said Mr Oundo.


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