Why workers want government to stabilise the shilling

Kenyan workers want the government to stabilise the shilling to lower the cost of living in the country.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu), Secretary General Francis Atwoli asked the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank to craft ways of stabilising the shilling to save Kenyans from harsh economic times.

"The depreciation of the Kenya Shilling is not a good thing, we as labor leaders are asking the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya together with the Cabinet Secretary of the Treasury to put a stop on the depreciation of our shilling," said Atwoli.

"It does not reflect the actual economic activities of the country. Unless if they are answerable to the IMF and the World Bank and this will be dangerous to the Republic of Kenya," he added.

Atwoli spoke on Wednesday in Nairobi during a meeting that brought together general secretaries of worker’s unions affiliated to Cotu to share the findings of its economic report.

The Cotu secretary general said the report, titled, "Kenya's Economy: Recovery and prosperity through workers' lenses," has been presented to the President William Ruto for consideration.

Atwoli warned that if the depreciation of the shilling is not arrested, prices of commodities will go up and the public will stand up against the government.

He said that the public outrage will cause havoc, chaos and confusion in the country and there will be no government.

"If the IMF and World bank are indeed helping the government of Kenya Kwanza then they must stop further depreciation to our shilling. They must tell them that we had a taste during the structural adjustment programmes and we said no. Let those institutions not push us to where we came from," said Atwoli.

He cautioned the government against over borrowing saying this was ballooning the public debt.

"Yes we must borrow. But, borrow for what? And if we borrow, do we have the capacity to pay or we are auctioning ourselves?" Atwoli said.

The Cotu boss asked the economists in government to advise against over borrowing.

He further suggested that to appreciate the economy of the country and create investor confidence, the government has no choice but to ruthlessly fight corruption.

"Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has a list of those corrupt big fellows. Let the government arrest these individuals and the economy of this country will appreciate. They should start with the big-fish. By arresting them, the confidence of those who want to do business with us will be restored," he said.

Atwoli said the runaway corruption in the country was affecting service delivery in most government institutions.

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