11 July 2018

Kenya: CS Ukur Yatani Forms Team to Probe Alleged Racism At SGR

Photo: Sun Ruibo/Xinhua
Kenyan Minister for Transport and Infrastructure James Macharia (C) and the Managing Director of the Kenya Railways Corporation Atanas Maina (R, front) attend the reception ceremony of the first batch of locomotives for the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway in Mombasa (file photo).

Labour CS Ukur Yatani has constituted a team of senior Ministry officials to investigate claims of racism and discrimination at the Standard Gauge Railway.

The CS said the allegations, if true, point to a violation of both Article 41 of the Constitution and the labour laws. He has promised that appropriate corrective action, including prosecution, will be taken against those found culpable.

In a late night statement, Mr Yatani ordered the team to carry out thorough investigations and report back to him within the next seven days.

COMPLIANCE

"As the Ministry charged with the responsibility of enforcing compliance with the country's labour laws, and also cognisant of the need to guard workers safety and health at work. I have today constituted a team of ministry officials to carry out investigations as to the veracity of the allegations," the CS said.

On Sunday, an investigation by a section of the media alleged that Chinese staff can never sit on the same table with Kenyans and locals are not expected to join their tables either.

DISCRIMINATION

They are also not allowed to use Chinese vans during drop-off and pick-up times.

The investigations further revealed a range of discriminations including pay disparities on the basis of race, unfair treatment, long working hours, threats, harassment and denial of right of association.

"Should the investigations reveal violations of any section of the labour laws, appropriate corrective measures, including prosecution, will be taken against those found culpable."

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