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Eric Kiraithe Haki yetu mentality will not help - Gov’t tells Kenyans on SGR racial discrimination reports

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Gov't hard-hitting message on SGR racial discrimination

Haki yetu mentality will not help - Gov’t tells Kenyans on SGR racial discrimination reports play Government spokesperson Eric Kirathe (Facebook)

Government spokesperson Eric Kirathe on Wednesday issued a hard-hitting statement after widespread reports of racial discrimination against Kenyans working at the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR).

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Kiraithe described the reports as sensationalized.

He seemingly took a jibe at 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.

play Government spokesperson Eric Kirathe (Facebook)

Kirathe said that Kenya entered into a 10-year contract with China to train Kenyans and the intensive process  was still ongoing.

He added that the comprehensive training must come to an end before locals can be allowed to operate the Madaraka Express independently.

"We must all appreciate that the operation of a modern train infrastructural system like Madarka Express in a consistently effective and efficient manner is a profession that calls for military standard discipline.

"The ongoing orientation of staff there is not about transferring technical skills only. It is aimed at inculcating the right mindset a set of moral principles and workplace values that will build a foundation for the rail to operate effectively in perpetuity.

"Whereas the Government is at hand to protect the individual right and dignity of every Kenya citizen, inward-looking, “haki yetu centred personality” have no place in this kind of profession either now or in future," Kirathe said.

However, he indicated that the Government will investigate the racial discrimination claims and appropriate action taken.

play File image of SGR station (Facebook)

Also Read: Atwoli vows to take action against Chinese harassing Kenyans at SGR

The Government spokesperson went on to dismiss reports that the rail endangered wildlife in the country noting that there was more wildlife death on the road.

"On the concerns on wildlife, the Government is satisfied with the plans in progress so far to protect our national heritage. This aspect has been highly sensationalised complete with carcasses of dead animals," he claimed.

An exposé by the Standard newspaper brought to light inhumane treatment, harassment, discrimination and unfair working conditions that Kenyans were enduring at the SGR.

According to the investigative piece,  Kenyans are not allowed to share the staff vans with their Chinese colleagues and are forced to wait long hours to share an overcrowded van.

They are also not permitted 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.

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