When Mr Simon Siro Oseko was awarded Sh3.07 million by a Kenyan court on June 29, 2021 after he was assaulted by a Chinese national, he thought his life had changed for the better. But that has not been the case.
Mr Oseko was all smiles as he walked out of the Employment and Labour Relations Court because he knew that his tormentors had been punished and would have to pay the money.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Mathews Nderi, who ordered managers of the Chinese restaurant Chez Wou and a Chinese national identified as Deng Hailan to pay him the money in damages for violation of his rights.
Little did Mr Oseko know that it would be a nightmare to get the money even though he was armed with the judge’s order.
“What I currently have is a paper that shows I need to be paid. However, I don’t have any cash with me and it seems that my efforts have hit the wall,” he said.
Mr Oseko’s case hit news headlines on June 29, 2021, when an amateur video captured him receiving strokes from Mr Hailan.
The victim, who is a trained chef, is seen and heard wailing in pain as he receives the strokes for coming late to work.
The video was taken by Mr Victor Kagai, who was his colleague and who did not like how his colleague was being treated.
Mr Kagai claimed that Mr Oseko had previously been whipped but his colleagues were unable to act.
“I decided to put my job at risk and record the video as my colleague was being beaten. It was not the first time this was happening and I never liked it,” he said.
Mr Oseko told Nation.Africa that the government had blundered by letting the four Chinese nationals leave Kenya before the case could be concluded.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations
Days after the incident took place, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) raided the premises and arrested Mr Hailan alongside three other Chinese nationals identified as Chang Yueping, Ou Qyang and Yu Ling.
Investigations revealed that they were running the restaurant illegally because they did not have a permit.
Mr Hailan had a visa that showed he was in Kenya for work but he lacked a work permit.
Mr Yueping and Mr Qyang did not have a work permit either and their visas had expired when they were arrested. Ms Ling had a valid visa but lacked a working permit.
Mr Steven Mogaka, who represented Mr Oseko in court, said that finding the Chinese nationals was impossible because they had already left Kenya.
He said his office had reached out to the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but he had not received a response to his inquiries.
“The court issued the orders and even compensated my client but things are not going well. We don’t have the Chinese nationals, hence no one is available to be handed the orders,” he said.
He said it was unwise of the government to deport the four as the case was going on.
The site where the restaurant stood has a new name.