Kenyans Back Paul Wafula After Coming Under Attack for SGR Exposé

  • Paul Wafula, the Standard journalist behind a series of exposés on the questionable hiring practices, mistreatment and alleged outright racism against Kenyan workers on the Standard Gauge Railway train (SGR) has spoken up after becoming the target of an online attack.

    In what seemed to be a co-ordinated response to the outcry the story elicited, several posts casting aspersions on Wafula's credibility as a journalist emerged on Tuesday across multiple social media platforms.

    The posts claimed that Wafula's stories were done at the behest of powerful, moneyed individuals seeking to wage war with the government over the SGR project.

    Several people, however, came out in support of Wafula as they expressed support for his work under the hashtag #IStandWithWafula.

    Wafula himself eventually addressed the matter, asserting that he would not be cowed by 'keyboard warriors' seeking to twist the truth.

    [caption caption="Standard journalist Paul Wafula (Courtesy)"][/caption]

    "We shall keep telling the truth to power. We shall not be distracted by keyboard warriors who did not even speak for Kenyans who are being discriminated in their own land. Thank you people for #IStandWithWafula Twisting the truth will never kill the story," he tweeted.

    Among the revelations that emerged from Wafula's reports were that at least two lions and five buffaloes had been run over by SGR trains.

    In addition, it was alleged that Chinese workers were accorded extensive privileges denied to Kenyans and, in some instances, blatantly mistreated their local counterparts.

    For example, vans meant to take employees home could not be boarded by Kenyans even if there was only one Chinese worker on board.

    A skills transfer program was also said to be practically non-existent, with fully trained Kenyans only having taken charge of the Nairobi-Mombasa trip on the inaugural run with President Uhuru Kenyatta on board.

    Furthermore, it was revealed that Kenyans had been locked out of most jobs to do with the SGR thanks to over 5,000 Chinese workers who had occupied positions ranging from engineers, accountants, cooks, self-taught locomotive operators, welders and carpenters.

    [caption caption="An SGR passenger train"][/caption]