For close to two months, casual workers on the Nairobi Express Way have been locked inside the construction camp in Langata.
The camp is near the Carnivore restaurant and opposite West Park Police Post.
Those who spoke to Hot News said their masters, CALE Construction Company has denied them a chance to go home after work.
“What worries us most is that two Chinese supervisors died three weeks ago. They died here in the camp and the bodies were moved out secretly. We suspect its Covid-19,” said a worker who managed to sneak out of the camp.
The worker said there are around 300 casual workers locked inside the camp.
He said the company has allowed two women to hawk food inside the camp.
However, the women can leave the camp at will.
“They make Ugali, omena, meat, rice, chapatis cabbage, sukuma and tea with Mandazi. We buy these foods and if you don’t have money, you eat on credit and CRBC will deduct it from your salary,” the worker who sought anonymity said.
He added that CRBC only attends to those who physically get hurt but not those who complain of falling sick without injuries.
“If you say you are going to visit your family- they won’t allow you. If they do, you will never be allowed back and you will not be paid,” he said.
The worker said their main work includes binding the iron rods to make columns, beams, and batching.
He said the columns and beams are then transported to the road on Mombasa road.
The other site used by CRBC is on Waiyaki Way opposite Kabete Police station.
Its not clear if workers are also locked inside the camp.
However, construction has been going on for 24 hours.
The Expressway will run from Mlolongo to the junction of James Gichuru and Waiyaki Way in Westlands.
The road is expected to ease traffic congestion from the Airport to Westlands.
According to KenhHA estimates, traffic jams cost Nairobi Sh50 million a day.
The road will be 27. 1 km and is scheduled to be completed in December 2022.
Labor CS Simon Chelugui said he was not aware of the case.
“I am hearing from you for the first time. I am not able to comment on the issue. I have asked the Labor commissioner Madam Onuko to check and advise. I will respond when I have the facts,” he said.
Boaz Musamgu the County Labor officer in charge of Nairobi said he will visit the site and investigate the claims.
“The issues raised are more to do with health. However, we cannot speculate but I will visit the site and get to the bottom of the matter. If they are working extra hours without being paid, it will be an issue,” he said.
He added that it is wrong for CALE construction to put people into “forced quarantine”.
In their response, CALE construction said the move is a Covid-19 containment measure.
The Company’s Human Resource Manager A Mr Leong said they talked to all the workers and agreed that they stay in the camp instead of going home every evening where they may pick up the disease and spread it.
Leong said if anyone wants to go out, they can go out and as soon as they come back, they must come with a Covid-19 free certificate.
KeNHA Director General Peter Mundinia could not be reached for comment as he did not respond to text messages and calls.