Bar and restaurant attendants in Murang’a have requested the government to consider giving them a stipend to cushion them from the hard times occasioned by Covid -19.
The workers who on Wednesday converged outside the office of Murang’a governor lamented over struggles they were undergoing after their work places were closed down in effort to combat spread of coronavirus.
They claimed that in their former work places, they were employed as casuals and were paid on a daily basis thus they did could not save.
Led by Bennice Ngima, the attendants said since the county government closed operations of bars, restaurants and hotels, they have been search for jobs elsewhere with no success.
The attendants, a majority of whom were women, claimed that they have children to take care of and requested the county government to consider providing them with food.
“It’s now almost a month after the county government closed down operations of bars and hotels. We have been even forced to seek jobs in construction sites but in vain. We pray that our governor considers getting us food,” added Ngima.
They asked if the government could consider lifting the ban on operation of bars and restaurants saying they would follow the laid down guidelines to control the spread of coronavirus.
“If we are allowed to operate, we will be extra careful to stop spread of this disease. Currently, we are pushed to the corner as we have nothing to give to our children,” added another attendant, Purity Njeri.
Last week, beauticians and barbers demonstrated outside the county government offices demanding to be allowed to continue operating their businesses.
Last month, the county government closed down operations of hotels, barber shops, salons, bars and restaurants as measures to contain spread of covid-19.
The attendants want their names to be included among those listed to benefit from government stipends aimed at cushioning the poor from the negative impact of coronavirus.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria had ruled out opening of barber and salon shops in the interest of social distancing as advocated by the Ministry of Health.
On the case of attendants, the governor said currently, they were working out to finish construction of Intensive Care Unit at Murang’a Level 5 hospital before embarking on programme of providing food to vulnerable residents.
“Plans are in process to identify vulnerable families before we start giving them foods. What I may ask for is patience as we finish up the plans,” added Wa Iria.
Meanwhile, the governor directed all county employees living outside Murang’a County to consider shifting, saying they would not allow people to be moving on a daily basis in and from the county.
In the meantime, county workers who live in Nairobi and neighbouring Kiambu County have been facing challenges crossing the road block mounted at near Thika to restrict movement of people to and from the metropolitan area.
By Bernard Munyao