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Why Kiraithe is wrong on SGR staff sacking threat

By Christopher Okinda | July 17th 2018

The threats by Government Spokesperson Eric Kiraithe to sack Standard Gauge Railway staff who leaked information on their mistreatment are misdirected. Ours is a nation that operates under the Constitution and upholds human rights.

Kiraithe’s office is mandated to give the Government position on matters of national interest as well as assure citizens of protection. Is what he said the Government position on the case? If yes, is the Government supporting mistreatment of Kenyans on their own soil?

This is where the Internal Security CS Fred Matiang’i has my support on issuance of working permits to foreigners. Why should we have foreigners doing work that locals can do? How can one be recruited as a technician only to become a cleaner or garbage collector? How does a Chinese company issue staff with two payslips?

Kiraithe needs to understand international laws as well as work place policies and ethics. As he defends the Chinese bosses and threatens Kenyans, does the foreign firm have a workplace policy that allows for discrimination and mistreatment?

The workers raised key issues that any professional would have seen need to be investigated. Skewed salaries, poor working conditions, mistreatment and discrimination are not allowed under international labour laws.

The Office of the Ombudsman must investigate Kiraithe’s office as well as the allegations made by the SGR staff. They need the Ombudsman’s protection. The Cabinet secretaries for Labour, Internal Security and Foreign Affairs must engage and resolve the issue amicably by defending and protecting the rights and freedoms of Kenyans.

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