Fairmont hotels closes businesses indefinitely over COVID-19 pandemic

The prestigious Fairmont Norfolk and Mara Safari Club have closed businesses indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The hotels’ general manager Mehdi Morad said they have ceased their operations as a spiral effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent flooding of Fairmont Mara Safari Club.

These unprecedented natural causes he added, have resulted in disruption of business now and in the foreseeable future.

“Due to the uncertainty of when and how the impact of the global Pandemic will result in the business picking up in the near future, we are left with no option but to close down the business indefinitely.”

“The management has taken into consideration various demands by the employees which at this time and given the current financial constraints, are out of reach for the company,” he said in a memo to the staff dated May 27.

He added it was the decision of the management to terminate the services of all its employees due to “frustration” by way of mutual separation and taking into account the loyalty and dedication the employees have put into the success of our company in the previous years.

The official said employees will receive their termination letters with the terms stipulated above by end of day June 05, 2020. There are tens of employees working for the hotels. Apart from the staff, dozens of people supply goods and services to the hotels.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic has resulted in a global lockdown, with no movement of visitors into Kenya, which has led to the shutting down of most hotels in Kenya,” he said.

The move, he added was also as a result of the directive by the government on the pandemic to curb its spread.

This comes as the government engaged the private sector on how they can manage the situation amid the pandemic.

Four Cabinet Secretaries engaged a section of private sector on business continuity plans and the ongoing COVID-19 containment measures amid pressure to reopen the economy.

The meeting was held virtually and involved interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Ukur Yatani (treasury), Betty Maina (trade) and health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi.

The meeting discussed the the eight-point stimulus package, which was recently announced by president Kenyatta, as well as the Private Sector’s interventions that are geared towards keeping the economy going.

President Kenyatta has indicated his plans to lift partial lockdown in the country in a bid to open the economy amid fears this may lead increased cases of COVID-19.

The eight-point stimulus package include Sh6.5 billion for the ministry of education to hire 10,000 teachers and 1,000 interns to support learning and acquisition of 250,000 locally fabricated desks, Sh10 billion to fast-track payment of outstanding VAT refunds and other pending payments to SMEs and Sh5billion to hire local labour for rehabilitation of access roads and footbridges.

There will be hiring of 5,000 healthcare workers with diplomas and certificates for one year and Sh1.7 billion for expansion of bed capacity in the public hospitals and Sh3 billion for the supply of farm inputs through e-vouchers and Sh1.5 billion to assist flower and horticultural producers to access international markets.

There will be soft loans to hotels related establishments through the Tourism Finance Corporation at Sh2 billion and Sh1 billion to engage 5,500 community scouts and Sh1 billion for 160 community conservancies.

Sh850 million will be used to rehabilitate wells, water pans and underground tanks in arid and semi arid areas while Sh1 billion will be used for food control measures and Sh540 billion for greening Kenya campaign while Sh600 million will be used to purchase locally manufactured vehicles.

Earlier on, Matiang’i together with his health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe and education’s Prof George Magoha met Catholic Bishops’ representatives, led by Cardinal John Njue, at the Holy Family Basilica as part of Government's stakeholder outreach program.

The CS’ reiterated Government’s commitment to continue working with the Church through its leaders as they continue to take measures, and make decisions, with regard to the country’s COVID-19 situation.

The bishops said they had agreed on areas they need to combine efforts to contain the spread of the disease.