Tears Roll As About 300 JungleFoam Employees Are Turned Away Following The Saturday Night Fire.


JungleFoam employee, Mary Mutanu expressing her frustrations after they were asked to leave following the closure of their department due to the Saturday night fire.
Losing a job is always terrible and for workers with families, it’s worse.

This is exactly the situation about 500 workers of Jungle Foam Factory found themselves in on  Tuesday after a  fire incident  gutted down their place of work. The  workers who were reporting for duty after the weekend- long Jamuhuri festivities were dumbfounded to find themselves suddenly thrust into the growing unemployment statistics, a traumatic experience that many employees dread.

The management had a very hard time trying to break the bad news to them that they were at the moment unable to have them in the firm as a result of the Saturday night fire that stalled its operations indefinitely. The HR manager Joseph Murigi had to personally console some of the workers who were moved to tears as they listened to his brief announcement.

“I know this is quite hard on all of us including us in the management for no one is at ease whenever their source of livelihood is threatened. We just need to reassure you that we will do everything possible to restore things back. It may take a little time but we will definitely be back on our feet. I therefore call for calm and ask you to go down on your knees to pray over the whole situation,” said Murigi.

Mary Mutanu has worked in the company for the last 4 years, with seven dependents looking up to her. She couldn’t hold back her tears as she narrated how this factory meant to her and her kins who solely depended on her.

“Where do we start? I have seven people who look up on me for their daily bread. Where will I get the school fees to pay for my kid who is currently in college? My ageing mother and my siblings depend on me. Ooh God! Please have mercy on us,” sobbed Mutanu.

Mutanu pointed out that her case was not exceptional as so many people living in Makongeni, Kiganjo, Kisii and Kiandutu, survived on the proceeds they earned from working in this factory.

“Most of these people you see here have families and have nowhere else they earn from. They’re feeling stressed, angry and hurt especially by whoever might have caused this fire if at all it was deliberate,” she said.

Joyce Wambui’s story was similar. As a single mother with three kids, one of them in Form Two, Wambui’s doesn’t know what the future now holds for her and her kids.

“I have worked for Jungle Group of Companies for the last seven years. It had never occurred to me that I would find myself in a situation like this. I have a loan that I was expected to clear by the end of this month. I do not have hope for Christmas nor money for school fees next year. I only pray that Wainaina (JungleNut CEO) will be patient with us as things get back to normal,” said Wambui.

There was outright anger among the workers who suspected foul play in the whole fire incident. Willy Machora Mugo pointed an accusing finger towards the manner Thika Town Constituency was plagued in mysterious fires that at times had political connotations.
The uncertainty of JungleFoam workers as the ponder what to do next after they were informed that there was no work.

“In a span of one year, Thika has witnessed so many fires that are political in nature; the Madaraka Market Fire, the Kamenu and Gatuanyaga MCAs’ fire attacks. We are now getting suspicious with this one and the Jua Kali fire earlier. The government needs to thoroughly investigate on these incidents,” said Mugo.

Otherwise, Mugo categorically pointed out that their working relationship with the employer was very good and he never suspected any foul play from within the workforce.

As the workers, took off their official gear to head home, their only appeal was to the authorities to reveal the real course of the fire as they hoped that the company will be back on its feet very soon so that they resumed their normal chores.
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