The government through spokesman Eric Kiraithe has responded to widespread reports of the mistreatment of SGR workers saying Kenyan workers must improve on their work ethic.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kiraithe noted that the government is committed to protecting the rights and dignity of every Kenyan worker but observed that workers must learn how things are done instead of complaining in the media.
Kiraithe further observed that the haki yetu(our right) centred personality has no place in a profession such as that at the SGR. He said that Kenya entered into a 10-year contract with China to train Kenyans and the intensive process is still ongoing.
“I am not saying any worker should be discriminated and humiliated in the workplace but we must all appreciate that the operation of a modern train is a profession that calls for military standard discipline.”
“Inward-looking, haki yetu (our right) centered personalities have no place in this kind of profession, not now or in the future. They are the first crop of Kenyans employed on this project and the culture they entrench will determine whether in less than 10 years we shall depend on them,” he said.
“It would be very unfortunate if after the agreed period, we continue relying on expatriates. It is important that they shift their focus from short-term diversions to the challenge at hand.”
Kiraithe, however, assured that all the allegations will be judiciously investigated and that action will be taken in the best interests of Kenyans.
He further took a jibe at the Sunday Standard for the SGR expose saying the “sensational reporting” ignored facts including the training skills and responsibilities handover to Kenyans.
“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.”
On the concerns on wildlife, Kiraithe said: “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.”