The Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya) officials among them the Secretary-General of the organization, DR. Francis Atwoli, were among the 471 Kenyans awarded a State Commendation during the 2020 Jamhuri Day Celebrations.
Cognizant of his role in the labour movement not just in the continent but in the globe, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta feted COTU (K) Secretary General with an Order of the Burning Spear award referred to as the first class chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS).
The Order of the Burning Spear award has three classes, namely, first class (Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear), second class (Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear) and third class (Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear).
This award is, in most occasions, given for distinguished services with the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) conferred on principal public dignitaries, exemplary members of the public service and other professionals.
Also on the list of those conferred State Commendations, from COTU (K), was the Treasurer General, Sis. Rebecca Nyathogora, who was awarded a Head of State Commendation (HSC) Civilian Division award.
This award, like other awards given by the President of the Republic of Kenya, is given to a person who merits the conferment of national honour, as provided for in the National Honours Act 2013.
This act stipulates that a person can only be conferred such honours if that person “has made an exemplary contribution to the country or a county in the economic, social, scientific, academic, public administration, governance, sports, journalism, business, security or other fields”, or when he “has otherwise brought honour, glory or pride to the Republic”.
Sis. Rebecca has been instrumental in the reconstruction of the Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu and in community-based development. As a trade unionist, she has been on the frontline in articulating workers interests and protecting workers rights.
Other trade unionists awarded these State Commendation on the recommendation of COTU (K) were Bro. Wafula Musamia, of the Quarry Workers Union, who was awarded the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya and Sis. Otolo.