Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are investigating an incident at a construction site in Konza City that resulted in several workers being injured and two others being hospitalized.
According to University Education and Research PS Simon Nabukwesi, who visited the site on Saturday, two of the workers who are still in hospital were unconscious when they were rushed to hospital, while several others were treated and discharged.
The two people receiving medical attention in Machakos are said to be part of a group working on the Ksh.16 billion Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
Although the specifics of what happened are unknown, PS Nabukwesi stated that Kenyan workers hired by the BOMI consortium were attacked by Korean workers on the same project.
“Niko hapa na Machakos DCC, the commander, the ACCs, chiefs, wote wako hapa, tuko na project manager, representatives wa BOMI consortiu, tuko hapa sababu kumekuwa na ugomvi baina ya wafanyikazi wa Bomi Consortium na wale wafanyikazi wakajeruhiwa na wale wafanyi Kazi wa Korea wanaojenga chuo kikuu hapa,” PS Nabukwesi said.
“Tumekuja kurekebisha mambo, turekebishe uhusiano baina ya hawa wafanyikazi, kuwe na uhusiano mzuri ndio mradi uendelee,”
The project, which began last year, has been moving slowly, with its completion date of September 2023 appearing untenable according to the PS.
Some of the issues that have plagued the project, according to Nabukwesi, have been communication barriers between the Korean workers and their Kenyan counterparts, which has slowed decision making.
The PS also claimed that none of the Korean employees can speak English and appear to be unqualified, in breach of the contract that required English proficiency.
“According to their contract, they were all required to be English speakers, but none of them speak in English making it hard for them to communicate with their Kenyan counterparts,”
“Tumeona hata kwamba hawajasoma vizuri na tumewaambia wakubwa wao huko Korea wawaondoea ili waweze kuleta wengine wanaofahamu kazi vizuri,”PS Nabukwesi said.
In addition, the PS claims that the Korean firm failed to subcontract the project to local companies as required by law.
“Hawa wanataka kujifanyia hao wenyewe, hawajatafuta kampuni za Kenya ambazo zinatakiwa kutekeleza asilimia 49 ya mradi kama huu kulingana na mkataba wa kazi,” PS Nabukwesi
“Lakini wao wamesema wanaajiri wakenya na kuwalipa pesa ambayo wao wameamua,”
According to PS Nabukwesi, an investigation into alleged discrimination is underway, and those found guilty will face charges.