Fairmont closes all nofolk
Norfolk hotel, Nairobi. FILE

The closure of the Fairmont chain has brought attention to the state. The state now wants formal information from the termination of contracts and closure of all hotels across the country.

The government has needed answers from the Fairmont group management following its move to close its hotels and send employees home.

On Thursday, Fairmont, which owns the Norfolk in Nairobi, shut its hotels generally.

It declared that it will terminate all employees' contracts following uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

 “Due to the uncertainty of when and how the impact of the global pandemic will result in the business picking up soon, we are left with no option but to close down the business indefinitely,” a memo to staff signed by the country general manager, Mehdi Morad, said.

Fairmont said it had taken into consideration various demands raised by its employees.

The demands, Morad said, were out of reach for the company in the prevailing circumstances.

However, solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto in a letter to Morad is now seeking answers, saying the issue is a matter of public importance.

“This matter is of public importance and great concern to the government and given the Attorney General’s mandate to promote, protect, and uphold the rule of law and defend the public interest, this office should be very grateful if you would provide it with clarification regarding the said media reports and complaints from employees including on the veracity thereof and justification for taking such action, if this is the case,” Ogeto said in a letter dated May 29.

The letter is copied to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, AG Paul Kihara, Labour CS Simon Chelugui, and PS Peter Tum.

Ogeto said such a decision will have far-reaching implications on the well-being of many households and the Kenyan economy in general.

“This is, therefore, a matter of profound public interest, in respect of which this office demands a response.”

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