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Government spokesperson It is easy to translate from Chinese to English – Gov’t says amid SGR racism saga

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Is this neo-colonialism?

It is easy to translate from Chinese to English – Gov’t says amid SGR racism saga play File image of SGR Nairobi Terminus (Facebook)

Government spokesperson Eric Kirathe on Thursday was put on the spot to explain why the Chinese language was being used to train Kenyans at the Standard gauge Railway (SGR).

This comes amid reports of alleged racial discrimination Kenyan employees have been subjected to by the Chinese.

Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV, Mr Kiraithe defended the use of the foreign language noting that it was simple to translate from Chinese to English.

play Government spokesperson Eric Kirathe on Citizen TV (Twitter)

Read Also: Haki yetu mentality will not help - Gov’t tells Kenyans on SGR racial discrimination reports

The Government spokesperson added that in case the language barrier persists it was also easier to simply hire a translator.

"In a project of this nature and we are having skills transfer, we need to be brighter. There are very many Kenyan translators and I am sure that if the investigations reveals there is language barrier then Kenya Railways MD Atanas Maina will hire more interpreters.

"Translating a document or manual from Chinese to English or Kiswahili, I think it is very easy," he said.

Kiraithe went on to give examples of gadgets and electronics Kenyans buy abroad accompanied with manuals of different languages in a bid to defend why the Chinese were not using Kiswahili or English to communicate with Kenyan workers.

"If you bought something written in Kiganda. What do you want them to do? You translate it in a language that you understand.

play File image of SGR Mombasa Terminus (Facebook)

 

"We contracted a Chinese company, so what did you want them to do?" he posed.

He, however, condemned the use signs written in Chinese noting that it should be translated to either English or Kiswahili in a bid to help Kenyans using the SGR.

Kiraithe reiterated that the Chinese will continue to conduct technical skills transfer and training Kenyans until the 10-year contract is over.

He went on to warn Kenyans against condemning the SGR as an entity noting that it was a project geared towards President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big 4 agenda.

play Government spokesperson Eric Kirathe (Facebook)

 

This comes a day after the Government spokesperson described the racial discrimination reports as sensationalised.

In a press briefing, Kirathe sent a warning to those claiming that Kenyans need to be given equal opportunities as the Chinese noting that the haki yetu centred personality has no place in a profession such as that at the SGR. 

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