Chinese workers keep off site after attack by morans

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner leads security officers in Narok on a tour of the SGR construction site on August 3, 2016 at Duka moja where Chinese nationals working at the site were attacked by Maasai morans. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • A high-powered security team from the region led by the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Wanyama Musiambo toured the site promising the Chinese nationals that security will be provided round the clock.
  • The Regional Commissioner has planned a meeting with members of the local community in the next two days to iron out the issues that have been a source of conflict between them and the Chinese Roads and Bridges Company (CRBC) contracted to carry out the construction works on the railway line.
  • On Tuesday, angry Maasai morans numbering over 200 descended on Chinese workers at the Duka moja site clobbering them with rungus and injuring them as their agitation for employment at the local construction company got nasty.

Construction work at the Standard Gauge Railway line at Duka Moja in Narok County was grounded on Wednesday as Chinese workers kept off the site following an attack by Maasai morans on Tuesday.

A high-powered security team from the region led by the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Wanyama Musiambo toured the site promising the Chinese nationals that security will be provided round the clock.

The Regional Commissioner has planned a meeting with members of the local community in the next two days to iron out the issues that have been a source of conflict between them and the Chinese Roads and Bridges Company (CRBC) contracted to carry out the construction works on the railway line.

On Tuesday, angry Maasai morans, over 200, descended on Chinese workers at the Duka moja site clobbering them with rungus and injuring them as their agitation for employment at the local construction company got nasty.

Fourteen of the workers were injured and treated at the Narok Level Five Hospital.

Members of the local community claimed the beating of the Chinese workers was as a result of being disrespected.

Mr Kaza Roho Torome, one of the locals, claimed some of the Chinese workers had gone as far as slapping labourers at the site.

“These people must respect the local people, they have been beating us around and Maasai culture cannot allow a grown up man to beaten around like a child,” said Mr Torome.

He said communication breakdown was the greatest cause of misunderstanding between them and the Chinese since many of the foreigners don’t speak English or Kiswahili.

Mr Musiambo, accompanied by security teams from Narok, Nakuru, Naivasha and Railway police warned that the government will not condone acts of lawlessness.

He said all those who were involved will be arrested and charged in court.

“The government will not tolerate what happened on Tuesday, we will not allow residents to take the law into their own hands and attack SGR officials,” he said.

Accompanying him was the Narok East sub-county commissioner Mr Arthur Osiya, his Naivasha counterpart Mr Isaac Masinde, and Nakuru Railway police boss Mr Marcella Andanje, OCPDs from Naivasha and Narok and area police commanders.

The security team held a meeting with two Chinese officials in charge of the Project, Mr Yu Clen and Mr Wilson Zheng.

They later held another brief meeting with the members of the community who turned up at the site.

The Regional Commissioner said the construction will go on as planned and nobody will stand in its way.

He said the project would resume on Friday when the Chinese workers are expected to return to work under tight security protection.

“The project in is under the national government, nobody can stop it, and those who try to stand in its way will face the full force of the law,” the tough talking administrator said.

Sources from the Chinese company indicated that some of those who were injured in the Tuesday attack were transferred to Nairobi.

Three of the Chinese are still admitted at the Nairobi Hospital with the rest having been treated and discharged.

This is not the first time the Maasai youths have demonstrated against the Chinese company at the SGR site. A few weeks ago, more than 300 youth staged a protest that was disrupted by the police.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.