The government is investigating SGR mistreatment allegations, says Kiraithe

Government spokesperson Eric Kiraithe at a past media briefing .PHOTO/ FILE

Nairobi, KENYA: The government has said it will be investigating the allegations leveled against the Chinese firm managing the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) accused of mistreating Kenyan employees.

The staff had complained of lack of a prudent financial management package, racism and inadequate measures to protect wildlife.

Addressing members of the press in Nairobi on Wednesday, Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said that the government has received all the complaints raised by the workers, saying it will be judiciously investigated and action taken in the best interest of  Kenyan citizens.

“From the onset, we wish to assure the public that all the allegations will be judiciously investigated and action taken in the best interest of the citizens of Kenya,” Said Kiraithe.

Kiraithe rather praised the work of the Chinese saying that the operations of a modern train infrastructure system like Madaraka Express needs to be consistently effective and efficient which calls for military standard discipline.

He added that the ongoing orientation of staff is not all about transferring technical skills, but the culture they entrench will determine whether in less than 10 years they will be able to manage and operate the vital investment, that is critical in the economic development and modernization of the country.

According to Government Spokesman, there are 1,624 Kenyan workers currently working at the locomotive and 870 foreigners thus the handover of the service will take three phases for Kenyans to fully run the operations.

On the concern for wildlife, the government said is satisfied with the plans in progress so far to protect the national heritage and that animals are not intentional killed as claimed.

The defense comes after it emerged that the China Road and Bridge Corporation last month asked the Kenyan staff to sign secrecy and non-disclosure agreement.