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Government gives Chinese firm running SGR 72-Hour ultimatum

At SGR, all instructions, including notice boards are issued in Chinese, making it hard for Kenyans to comprehend.

Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina disclosed that the he had deployed his human resource department to engage with the local staff employed by the operator to independently establish the authenticity of the claims to inform further actions.

“The said reports have elicited emotions from the public. The outrage and disappointment expressed is understandable, and we share the same sentiments.

“We have taken the matters very seriously and should culpability be established against any person or persons, action will be taken in accordance with the laws of Kenya,” Mr Maina said in a statement yesterday.

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The response came hours after Deputy President William Ruto confirmed that the CRBC was earning Sh1 billion a month to run the train, saying ‘running the SGR is not the same as a matatu'.

The DP, however, evaded a question when asked about the mistreatment Kenyans reportedly received from the CRBC staff. The DP instead chose to elucidate on the benefits the railway will bring, with promises of increasing the number of trains.

On Sunday, following an exposé by the Standard, Kenyans reacted with outrage after a report emerged on the inhumane treatment, harassment, discrimination and unfair working conditions that Kenyans were enduring at the Standard Gauge Railway.

The exposé revealed systemic racial discrimination in which unwritten laws dictate that Kenyan workers cannot share the same table with their Chinese counterparts.

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The same extends to the staff vans which Kenyans are not to share with their Chinese colleagues and have to wait long hours to share an overcrowded van.

They are also not allowed to use their phones in the train and the penalty for this is dismissal as opposed to their Chinese counterparts who have the luxury of using their phones and even smoking on the train.

The report further highlighted that conservationists are crying foul after the report mentioned that the train sensors are not working with two lions ad five buffaloes killed so far. In addition, all instructions, including notice boards are issued in Chinese, making it hard for Kenyans to comprehend.

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