Work at the Chinese Railway Number 5 Company in Turkana on Monday came to a sudden halt after the workers embarked on a demonstration over what they termed as mistreatment and assault inflicted on them by Chinese Nationals.
The construction of the Lodwar -Loichangamatak A1 road was put aside as tools were downed, a cause that was triggered by what the workers alleged an assault on a road inspector.
Four Chinese men, attached to the Company constructing Lodwar- Loichangamatak road, are alleged to have attacked the Chief Road Inspector Rodgers Imasia on Friday, injuring him severely.
Imasia, according to the workers, was attacked on claims that he did not approve the materials that were used on the road construction which were of substandard quality.
The demonstrations were led by their chairman, Dida Wilberforce, who condemned the attack of their colleague and urged police to speed up investigations and arrest the four Chinese men alleged to have committed the crime.
The workers complained that the police were taking too long to ensure justice which left the workers feeling as if they were taking sides on the matter.
“There is no way we can work with people who frustrate and attack us in our daily duties. If it was a case where a casual worker had attacked the Chinese they would have reacted faster,” Dida said conveying a feeling that the Chinese were considered superior to Kenyans by Kenyans in the region.
The chairman for transport at Chinese Railway Number 5 Company, Bakari Etaan, said it was obvious to them that the Chinese had carefully planned the attack on Imasia.
“It’s the mandate of the road inspector to approve the materials to be used for construction. If he rejects the substandard materials, it’s unlawful to attack him,” Etaan noted.
The workers also decried the manner in which the Chinese nationalities dehumanize them bu the use of abusive language while addressing them while on duty.