Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a 12-percent increase in the minimum wage as the country confronts a surge in the cost of living.
Inflation in the East African economic powerhouse jumped to a seven-month high in April, mainly as a result of skyrocketing fuel and food prices, according to official figures.
“As a caring government, we find there is a compelling case to review the minimum wages so as to cushion our workers against further erosions,” Kenyatta said at a Labour Day rally.
According to him, the 12-percent increase would come into effect from the first day in the month of May. It takes the minimum monthly wage from KES13,500 (about USD116.50) to KES15,120 (USD130.50).
However, the hike falls far short of the 24 percent that had been sought by the Central Organisation of Trade Unions-Kenya (COTU). Kenyatta said the high cost of living was due to factors “beyond my control like the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict”.
He condemned rival political leaders – including Deputy President William Ruto – for seeking to blame the government for the economic woes, as the country prepares for crucial elections in August.