Uhuru Kenyatta announces 18 per cent rise in minimum wage

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli during Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. (Photo: Moses Omusula, Standard)

Nairobi Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced 18 per cent increase in minimum wage during the Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

Up to Sh100,000 of bonuses and overtime shall not be taxed in order to cushion Kenyans from high cost of living.

The minimum taxable salary shall be Sh13,475.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions had requested for a 22 per cent increase in basic pay, citing inflation which has constantly been increasing.

The president said progress to build a prosperous economy to allow Kenyans earn decent living was on course. He underlined current efforts in road construction, lowering barriers to trade, quality education as some of the strategies.

The President urged employers to ensure workers are safe and said State will soon embark on inspection of safety at work place to ensure compliance.

On foreign jobs, uhuru urged Kenyans to only work with accredited agencies in securing jobs abroad especially in the Middle East.

"We have streamlined administration and management of employment agencies to minimise on exploitation, it is upon you now to work with accredited agencies, said uhuru.

Atwoli called on the government to create post-independence cities to not only decongest Nairobi but also tackle unemployment.

Low turnout marked the Labour Day fete with many workers staying away probably due to bad weather in Nairobi.                     

Nonetheless, other leaders including deputy president William Ruto, Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, Senator Mike Sonko, Labour Cabinet Secretary attended the function.