Quarry workers protest assault and harassment from Chinese employer

Workers at a quarry in Juja, Thika in Kiambu county have protested over continued harassment and assault by their Chinese employer. The workers at Godenson Material and Construction Company have called the government to act on what they called continuous assault by the owner while executing their duties at the quarry.

One of the victims David Okello has been left without a tooth after being beaten up by the Chinese employer.  Okello narrated how he was beaten up for no apparent reason leaving him with serious injuries and one tooth missing.

“I was packing stones into a lorry when he came. He started counting the stones and told me I had exceeded the number of stones per lorry”, said Okello.

“I tried to tell him that I was not in charge of counting and that I was just supposed to load. Instead of listening, he started beating me up and knocked my tooth off in the process”, Okello told Kenyans digital news.

Okello said he could not report the assault to the police since they were being intimidated and it would have cost him money. He claimed going up against the Chinese boss would be a losing battle.

The firm, which employs 37 employees, both permanent and casual is owned by a Chinese national, Hu hang Ping. The company deals with construction and the sale of construction materials.

Another victim Joseph Ndung’u narrated how he was beaten up by Mr Hu hang after he attempted to speak up for a colleague who he (Mr Hu) was assaulting. Ndung’u sustained an injury on the face and a raptured eardrum as a result of the beating.

It is not the first time that Chinese employers have been accused of harassing and assaulting Kenyans at work. In the management of the SGR, there were complaints of staff being forced to collect papers on the compound and being whipped as a form of punishment.  

These allegations were dismissed by the government and the management of the SGR. A worker at a Chinese restaurant was deported following a public outcry after he was filmed whipping a staff who had reportedly got to work late. 

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