CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

7 August 2014

Kenyans Irate Over "Importation" of Labour From China

Photo: Capital FM
The Standard Gauge Railway line (file photo).

Nairobi — LOCALS have expressed disappointment after China Road and Bridge Corporation to bring 500 labourers into the country despite high local unemployment levels.

Kenyans who spoke to CAJ News said this was against the spirit of job creation.

"While we appreciate awarding the contract to the Chinese, we would not allow such a huge number of Chinese workers coming to steal our jobs here," Godfrey Injera told CAJ News in Nairobi.

"The 500 Chinese coming to Kenya have already taken jobs meant for our local people, this is unacceptable," he added.

Mavis Owila, a vegetable vendor, who said she did not condone the government's move to allow Chinese import labour on jobs that locals could do, echoed his sentiments.

"I strongly believe this contract is not doing any good to the nation.

Instead, this contract is doing more harm for Kenya by churning out jobs meant for locals to foreigners," said Owila.

Kenya Railways' announcement that China would be bringing its own workers for standard gauge railway had already enraged the workers.

Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC), Managing Director, Atanas Maina, announced that works on the 609km railway would commence in September with the Chinese contracted company bringing in at least 500 workers.

"The contractor will bring in the workers and get additional ones locally.

We have also commenced discussions to reduce timelines and ensure that the project is completed by 2017," Maina was quoted as saying.

The new railway line would link Kenya and the the rest of East African Community (EAC) by 2018.

He said the first stage of the railway line construction would cost the country a whopping Sh327 billion.

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