The Kenya-Chinese relationship has for long now been chained along business. In fact it is proper to say that it is a trade based relationship. The President was last week in China for the Chinese Trade Expo. Part of his mission during the visit was to strengthen the business ties enjoyed between the two nations.
There have been widespread allegations that the government is planning to introduce the Chinese language into the Kenyan curriculum and that it will be mandatory for each and every school going Kenyan to learn Chinese. This they say is aimed at strengthening the relationship between Kenya and China even more.
Kenyans have come out to openly oppose this move with some terming it as an act of neo-colonialism. The Kenyans have questioned why the Chinese themselves can’t learn our two business languages which are English or Swahili.
The Chinese have of late come under great scrutiny with many terming them as being racist and arrogant.
Kenyans have also been protesting the fact that the Chinese are taking over almost all the crucial sectors of our economy and that it is actually them that do the white collar jobs while Kenyans are left to do the hard manual jobs yet they are still underpaid.
Leaders, led by Embakasi East Mp Babu Owino had earlier blasted the Chinese for not allowing Kenyans steer the SGR locomotives despite Kenya having qualified personnel for the job.
“Yaani a Kenyan pilot can fly a Boeing to JFK a distance of about 11,800kms but Chinese here wont allow our people to steer a mere locomotive from Syokimau to Mombasa?” said Babu Owino.
Kenyan Parliament had also earlier introduced a new Bill seeking to restrict foreigners from obtaining contracts worth more than one billion Kenya shillings. Member of Parliament for Mathira, Rigathi Gachagua wrote to National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi outlining the reasoning behind the Bill, saying it is aimed at stopping the Chinese from doing jobs that can be done by Kenyans.
According to Hon. Rigathi Gachagua, many of the firms owned and managed by the Chinese have taken over the local supply businesses, depriving Kenyans of jobs. Mr. Gachagua argued that local businesses are no longer able to find markets for their products and therefore wants amendments introduced to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act to cure the wrongs.
“We are staring at a very glaring picture. We are having what I would call the Chinese economic invasion to the republic of Kenya. This people came here slowly and slowly they are kicking the owner of the house out, economically,” said Rigathi.
In the Bill, Rigathu is pushing for strict regulations that will be put in place to see that tenders are awarded to 100% owned Kenyan firms unless there are special circumstances in which, contracts not exceeding one billion Kenya shillings can be awarded to foreigners in the event that Kenyan firms are unable to do the job.
According to the Mathira MP, the country cannot be politically and economically independent with the invasion of the Chinese.
On the issue of introducing the Chinese Language to our curriculum, Kenyans have vowed to remain firm and oppose such a move.. Here are some of the reactions.
You can’t tell Kenyans to learn Chinese to strengthen the Relationship between Kenya and China. We already have two business Languages Swahili and English. Let the Chinese pick one. They should Learn Swahili they want business with us. Bull Crap! The government should be ashamed!
— BRAVIN™ (@ItsBravin) November 8, 2018
Japan through JAICA has done several development projects across Kenya. I have never heard a government officer asking Kenyans to learn Japanese to “ deepen “ cooperation. Chinese are not any special.
— Rein (@Asamoh_) November 8, 2018
Yearly as Kenya’s universities produce numerous Architectual/Civil/Electrical/Industrial/Mechanical-Engineers and Managers, our unscrupulous demagogues instead encourage hiring Chinese ‘experts’ while ostracizing capable Kenyans to unskilled/menial labor.pic.twitter.com/cPA2JVCL7x
— Kleptocracy Native (@jmasaviru) November 8, 2018