In a scathing letter sent to Media Houses, Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe responded to claims that Kenyans were being racially mistreated, discriminated and neo-colonized by their SGR masters.
Kiraithe told Kenyans employed by SGR to “bear with the Chinese” despite workplace discrimination and mistreatment because the Chinese were giving the Kenyans the “right mind set, a set of moral principles and workplace values to enable the rail to operate in perpetuity,” and that “operation of modern train calls for military standard discipline.”
Therefore according to Kiraithe or rather the Kenyan Government, discriminated Kenyans should STOP squealing around; SUSPEND their rights as workers and work hard to acquire Chinese uptight work ethics.
Below is Kiraithe’s letter;
Attention of the government has brought to highly sensationalize negative media coverage of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) popularly known as Madaraka Express. Allegations include lack of a prudent financial management package, racism and inadequate measures to protect wildlife.
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.
However, we also wish to draw the attention of the public to a few facts, which the sensational reporting has ignored.
The first is the training, skills and responsibilities handover to the national staff.
We must all appreciate that the operations of a modern train infrastructural system like Madaraka Express in a consistently effective and efficient manner is a profession that calls for military standard discipline.
The ongoing orientation of staff therefore is not about transferring technical skills only. It is aimed at inculcating the right mindset, a set of moral principles and work place values that will build a foundation for the rail to operate effectively in perpetuity. Whereas the government is at hand to protect the individual rights and dignity of every Kenyan citizen, inward looking, “haki yetu centered personalities” have no place in this kind of profession either now or in future.
They are the first crop of Kenyans employed on this project and the culture they entrench will determine whether in less than ten year s, we shall depend on them to manage and operate this vital investment, which is critical in the economic development and modernization of Kenya. It will be very unfortunate if after the agreed period, we shall continue relying on expatriates.
It is therefore important that they shift their focus from short term diversions to the challenge at hand. Every organization will have challenges and these challenges get more complicated when we have a multi-racial, multinational setting because of the obvious clash of cultures. However, no organization overcomes its challenges through the mass media.
On the concerns on wildlife, the government is satisfied with the plans in progress so far to protect our national heritage. This aspect has been highly sensationalized complete with carcasses of dead animals. The facts are that we are losing many more wildlife on our roads.
Madaraka Express forms one of the most critical steps towards the achievement of Kenyan dream: a middle-income fast developing country providing a high standard of living for its citizens. The financial package in place has been drawn with the assistance of several professionals and it was the most practical under the circumstances. However, the government is monitoring and it will be reviewed as need arise to ensure that the Kenyan taxpayer continues to get the best value for money. Like any other Mega business, project of this nature take long periods to break even and even longer to be profitable.
Kiraithe E.K. MBS