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A Flagged Chinese Firm Accused Of Engaging In Illegal Activities And Frustrating Kenyan Workers

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The Sh1 billion Chinese-built Sigiri Bridge in Busia County, collapsed before it was completed.

A Chinese firm that has previously been involved in a shoddy construction project in Kenya is on the spotlight once again.

Chinese Overseas Construction and Engineering Company China Railway Number 10 has been accused of neglecting its workers, according to the workers, the firm has not paid them their salary for the last eight months, while sending away workers on unpaid leave.

According to aggrieved workers, those who raise their concerns are being sent on unpaid leave without payments for the eight months they have worked.

They’ve tried reaching out to labour offices but efforts have been futile as they suspects officials have been compromised.

Cases of Chinese firms mistreating local workers has been rampant and the previous government failed in its mandate to protect its citizens from exploitation and it’s for this reason that the aggrieved workers are reaching out to the new administration with the hopes that they reign in and that their please be heard.

The company which defended itself in claiming that the non-payments is as a result of being owed by the government is accused of double standards, it’s said that those in senior positions continue to receive their salaries and only the low carder workers are neglected. The firm also recently bought a Sh900 million stone crusher despite claiming that they’re too broke to pay workers.

The machine is already in use in Kiserian area despite not having obtained full government approval including Nema assessment report.

Sigiri collapsed bridge

The company shot to the spotlight in 2017 after the iconic Sigiri Bridge which was under construction in Budalang’i constituency collapsed.

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The construction costs for the Sh1 billion bridge that collapsed soon after inspection by President Uhuru Kenyatta was hugely inflated.

The Sh1 billion Chinese-built Sigiri Bridge in Busia County, collapsed before it was completed.

Contract documents show that the highly-hyped project would cost Sh685 million, just about half of the reported prices.

But the contract price would still arouse interest when the project is stacked up against comparable ones including a seemingly sturdier bridge further up on the same River Nzoia.

Khaunga Bridge, over the same river near Mumias, was built at a fraction: less than Sh128 million.

Other comparisons with the Standard Gauge Railway which consists 98 bridges, most being much longer, further points out the abnormal price paid for Sigiri.

Investigations revealed that the government may have doubled the value of the much-hyped project in Busia County amid a series of inconsistencies.

The award letter issued to the contractor China Overseas Engineering Group Company Ltd indicates the contract sum as only Sh685 million.

A classic case of under dealings.

 


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