German,47, grilled over racist remarks, assault of construction workers in Kirinyaga


47-year-old Hinteregger Yugen, the German manager at Thiba Dam who was questioned by DCI over ...
47-year-old Hinteregger Yugen, the manager at Thiba Dam who was questioned by DCI over alleged racist abuse and assault on Kenyan workers. Photo/Courtesy

In Summary

  • The labourers through their union representative David Ndanya, claimed that the German supervisor often referred to them as "Bushmen and Idiots" and went as far as physically abusing some of them.
  • The workers who recorded statements at Kiayaga police station said that the German always got away with it by threatening to sack anyone who dared to speak out.

 A 47-year-old German national was on Saturday grilled by detectives from the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) over alleged racist remarks and assault of construction workers in Kirinyaga County.

Hinteregger Yugen who works for Strabag International, a German company contracted for the construction of Thiba Dam project in the area was accused of verbal and physical abuse of Kenyan workers.

The labourers through their union representative David Ndanya, claimed that the German supervisor often referred to them as “Bushmen and Idiots” and went as far as physically abusing some of them.

The workers who recorded statements at Kiayaga police station said that the German always got away with it by threatening to sack anyone who dared to speak out.

“We as the workers are really fed up by Yugen. No one questions his decisions since everyone is afraid of him. He is abusive and violent,” said one of the workers.

Kennedy Maina, a technician in the company, is reported to have narrowly escaped death after Yugen almost killed him while he was walking out of a container where tools are kept.

“Our manager Yugen is a violent person canning even aged workers. Today he threatened to beat me and after I tried pleading with him to forgive me, he got mad threw a metallic door at me. I had to shout for help,” said another worker.

The incident however forced him to report the matter at Kianyaga police station.

Gichugu OCPD Anthony Mbogo now says that police have launched investigations into the complaints, adding that stern action will be taken against the supervisor, if found culpable.

Mbogo further added that the police are also looking into reports where the accused had been deported by the Malawian Government over racial discrimination, charges similar to those cited by the Kirinyaga workers.

The workers now want action taken against Yugen and consequent deportation back to his country.

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Story By Johnson Muriithi
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