By Maina Njange
As 2019 draws to a close, thousands of Kenyans will be counting it as one of their toughest years having been sacked in a wave of mass lay offs that have hit local firms.
By the second half of 2019, over 10 Kenyan companies announced to retrench over 6,800 workers.
Here is a list of the firms that announced mass lay offs in 2019:
1. Air Afrik
Aviation company, Air Afrik, at the beginning of October announced it would retrench 200 workers from Kenya and Sudan following massive losses.
Air Afrik suffered Sh2.1 billion loss in leasing contract and laid the blame on its financial partner.
“We understand this is a challenging time for our team, but these steps were necessitated following .... negligent errors, oversight, and unlawful actions,” the company said in a statement.
2. Finlay Flowers
The Kericho-based Finlays Flowers announced to close two farms by December 25, owing to oversupply in Europe.
The lay off is set to affect over 1,000 workers.
Last year, the firm laid off 1,800 workers.
"It is no secret that in the last 18 months, the flower industry has been facing severe challenges" read part of the statement by Finlays.
In October 2019, betting company SportPesa closed its Kenyan business, sending home at least 400 workers.
At the time of the closure, SportPesa was at loggerheads with the government over taxation laws.
A similar predicament also befell SportPesa'scompetitor Betin.
In July, Betin announced closure of its business operations in Kenya, a move that rendered 2,500 youth jobless.
The IT-innovation hub announced on September 17, that it planned to lay off 175 of its junior trainees as market demand shifted towards more experienced software engineers.
6. Ola Energy (formerly Oil Libya)
The oil marketer announced its plan to lay off workers in a voluntary early retirement scheme.
Though the firm's management never disclosed the number of staff to be affected, inside sources privy to management details hinted at 189 workers.
7. East Africa Portland Cement
The cement company announced in August that it planned to lay off all of its workers in a reorganisation plan.
At the time of the announcement, the firm had over 600 workers.
The management declared all its staff redundant, requiring them to reapply for their jobs.
The restructuring was done amid fears that a big proportion of the retrenched workers would not get their positions back.
8. Telkom Kenya
In August, Telkom Kenya announced it would lay off 575 workers prior to planned merger with Airtel.
The number equated to 72 percent of its labour force, leaving the firm with about 225 employees.
An unknown number of people who did business with Telkom were also affected by the merger.
The lay off took effect from September 1.
9. Stanbic Bank
In September, Stanbic Bank Kenya laid off 88 staff in an early retirement scheme.
The firm aimed at cutting payroll expenses in its future operations. The exercise is expected to be completed by November.
10. East African Breweries Limited
East African Breweries Limited, owned by London-based Diageo announced to lay off 100 employees in its Nairobi centre.
The firm planned to relocate its business service centre from Nairobi.