Chinese employees at Kenyas Standard Gauge Railway risk losing their work permits if they cannot express themselves in the country’s official languages.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said it will push for revocation of their work permits should investigations into alleged mistreatment of Kenyans by the Chinese supervisors reveal that they are non-English speakers.
“Our view is that no migrant worker should be allowed to work in Kenya if they can’t express themselves fluently either in English or Kiswahili,” KNCHR chairperson, Kagwira Mbogori, said while appearing before a Senate committee.
The committee is looking into reports of mistreatment and discrimination of Kenyans working at the SGR.
It is also investigating complaints of poor working environment, discriminatory pay and benefits.
Labour cabinet secretary Ukur Yatani told the committee that a multi-agency committee has been formed to address the issues raised and findings of a committee of inquiry that was appointed on July 12.
“The committee of inquiry which had seven days to report accomplished the task and filed a report presenting preliminary findings on issues in view of the fact that there was a constraint in time, long distance between stations and the many issues that were being handled,” Mr Yatani said.