Raila Junior, elder son to ODM leader Raila Odinga, joined hundreds of Kenyans to condemn the recent statement released by Government spokesperson Eric Kiraithe.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Raila Junior instead urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to make public his position on the matter, in which Kenyans working at the standard Gauge Railway are allegedly facing mistreatment.
“I’m still reeling in shock over the government spokesperson, Kiraithe’s remarks on Kenyans. I want to believe those were his own words and not the government’s,” he said via Twitter.
He added: “Would the President mind giving his voice on this very shocking revelations? The Presidency must firmly defend Kenyans.”
On Wednesday in a press conference in Nairobi, Mr Kiraithe told Kenyans to bear with the Chinese nationals working with SGR, adding that their [Kenyans] mentality of ‘labor activism’ would not help them out.
Mr Kiraithe said that Kenyans, including those facing maltreatment, should “appreciate the work” the Chinese are doing.
Mr Kiraithe, however, noted that the affected person should inform the police of the crimes for through investigation, a move seen to cushion the Chinese as already the Kenya Railways had coerced workers into signing secrecy disclosure contracts which barred them from sharing information about SG , either with the media or through social media.
“One should not post negative articles or writings or videos or photos on social media or Facebook or YouTube and etc involving SGR operations,” a copy of the secrecy agreement seen by pulselive.co.ke and widely circulated on social media on Tuesday reads in part.
Meanwhile, China Road and Bridge Corporation, the builder and operator of the line, stands accused of discriminating Kenyan workers— who are expected to take over the running of the rail service in 10 years— in unemployment, assignments, salary, sitting arrangement, catering and personal hygiene services among others.