Kenyan taxpayers paid dearly for the comfort of Chinese employees brought in to build the first phase of the standard gauge railway (SGR), including furnishing their houses and paying for their domestic staff.
This is despite the fact that the Chinese were remunerated better than their Kenyan counterparts, who were paid per day.
The Chinese were also eligible for overtime payments.
A strong army of 5,795 Chinese workers was brought in to build the first phase of SGR, way above the 2,000 figure given by the contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
Amid heavy criticism from the public and Kenyan workers that there were too many Chinese staff on the project, CRBC had in 2016 claimed it had only hired 2,000 foreigners.
“The project releases recruitment information and holds job fairs in the locality, drawing residents from neighboring communities into railway construction,” CRBC said
The company further said it had hired some 19,858 Kenyans to work alongside the Chinese undertaking management and technical duties.
But the project’s contract shows CRBC may have been economical with the truth.
In fact, it does not mention the total number of local personnel hired for the project. This means their employment may not have been structured.