The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has demanded the expulsion of four employees of a Chinese contractor who it says assaulted a chief inspector for criticising their work.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Wu Peng (pictured), warned that "stern action" would be taken against offenders.
Four Chinese nationals – Liu Jiang, Wang Kai, Zhao Liangbin and Li Shaoqing – were arrested on Tuesday, 22 May for allegedly assaulting KeNHA’s chief inspector of roads, Rodgers Imasia, for refusing to approve substandard construction materials.
They work for China Railway No 5 Engineering Group, which is upgrading a 100km section of the A1 highway in the northern county of Turkana.
The men were later released, however, after the complainant withdrew the case. The Daily Nation reports that Imasia decided not to pursue the matter after "lengthy negotiations" with the suspects and China Railway.
KeNHA has written to Kenya’s interior ministry to cancel the suspects’ work permits, as well as complaining to their employer, The Star newspaper reports.
Agency spokesman Charles Njogu said: "KeNHA has instructed for the replacement of the expelled staff within 21 days. It has further instructed the contractor to conduct capacity building for its entire staff within 28 days with regard to contract stipulations on decorum and discipline, and responsibilities and duties of various staff."
On Monday, 20 May workers on the site of the Lodwar-Loichangamatak A1 road section downed tools in protest over the alleged assault which is alleged to have taken place on 17 May, reports The Star.Â
China has warned its citizens living in Kenya against flouting laws in the country.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Wu Peng, warned that "stern action" would be taken against offenders. "Those found flouting the laws of the land would not only be punished by Kenya but also will face our own internal measures as China," he said.
Image: The suspects were working on the A1 highway (Dreamstime)