Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has applauded President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech during his swearing-in ceremony in which he directed that all East Africans should freely access both employment and trade.
He also commended the president for his directive for East Africans to own property in Kenya in full adherence to the provisions of the Common Market Protocol on free movement of persons in the region.
“For the last fifteen years, while serving as the then Chairman of the East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) with its headquarters in Arusha, I personally employed every efforts and methods to convince the East African political leadership to open up and allow for the free movement of persons from the region and allow portability of social security contributions within the region,” said Mr Atwoli in a statement from Brussels, Belgium.
The Cotu boss said it was most commendable and significant for the President to speak openly in the presence of other leaders from the region and declare that East Africans are free to access employment and own property in Kenya, just like the locals, on production of their identity cards.
“This is commendable and a [it is] milestone that should immediately be emulated not only by the East African political leaders but Africa as a whole,” he said, adding that free movement of workers, access to employment and ownership of property for East Africans will become a reality in Kenya.
Mr Atwoli was speaking on the side-lines of his meeting with the European Commission on the contentious Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
He is also attending the 17th General Council meeting of ITUC at the union’s headquarters.