October 24, 2021

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Ease taxes to beat virus shocks, Atwoli tells states

COTU secretery General Francis Atwoli 

Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) has asked African governments to waive some taxes levied on workers and businesses to enable them recover from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

 Secretary General Francis Atwoli said the high cost of doing business has led to scaling down of operations or closure of businesses leading to loss of livelihood.

Atwoli, who accused African governments of taking advantage of the pandemic to exploit workers, regretted that most governments have remained insensitive to the plight of their citizenry.

 “Whereupon despite the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic situation, these governments have continued to impose heavy taxation on workers and the rest of the people,” he said.

The unionist especially called out the Kenyan government over the current heavy taxation on fuel where Kenyans have been forced to pay up to Sh135 for a litre of petrol at a time when countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia are paying far much less.

 “It is sad that some governments have remained silent when their people are bearing such burdens amid the pandemic,” he regretted.

Atwoli, who is also the President of Organization of African Trade Union Unity, promised to continue working closely with governments, employers and other international organizations to find a lasting position on how workers can be appreciated.

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