Aug 9, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

British Council confirms probe after Kenyan staff allege racism

In a statement to Nation.Africa, a British Council spokesman said the agency and the Kenyan authorities received an anonymous letter in July 2021 and responded by opening an investigation in August 2021.

” The British The Council takes all allegations of discrimination, racism, bullying and harassment very seriously. We operate in over 100 countries around the world and our values ​​of equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do, “said the spokesman.

” Upon receiving the anonymous letter, we have an investigation immediately. This investigation is ongoing and we are maintaining the opportunity to work with the author of the letter. The writer of the letter was unwilling to be interviewed and has not yet provided any evidence to support the allegations. “

The response came a day after the Guardian newspaper published a report stating: seven Kenyans had written the letter alleging racism.

The Guardian’s report said the British Council had begun investigating allegations in the letter that high-ranking white executives largely discriminated against the accusers when they were selected and were sentenced for dismissal.

“We are not sure who the person who sent the anonymous letter is – they did not identify themselves. In one case, a person who recognized himself in the letter came forward and told us that he had not consented to be included in the letter, ”said the British Council spokesman.

Through dismissed from court

The council found that a complaint from the director of communications and digital at the Kenyan office, alleging he had been forced out of his job and replaced by a white person who had no competitive attitude had been fired by a labor court. The person was replaced at the time by a black, locally appointed Kenyan.

The British Council said the investigator had explained the scope of the investigation to the writer and asked for his obligation and availability for an interview.

“The author had no cooperation. The writer of the letter did not want to contact us and has not yet provided any evidence to support their claims. The British Council is still reviewing all channels of communication with them, “said the spokesman.

” We have robust internal mechanisms to address concerns and complaints about discrimination, racism, bullying and harassment. We are and always have been proud to be an equal opportunity employer. 98 percent of the Kenyan office staff are appointed locally. ”

The Guardian reported that five of the seven prosecutors allege discrimination during a dismissal process that they say favored white colleagues. The allegations stem from cuts in central government funding for the British Council and a lack of income related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instrument of soft power

The British Council, known as the UK government’s main soft power tool, claims it is still waiting for all complainants to produce evidence and has challenged some of the allegations in the original letter.

One of the complainants who filed Redundant said he would not cooperate with the investigation as it was too narrow to include previous allegations.

“The British Council says it will only investigate these allegations if we allow it to manage the complaints process and select the cases to be investigated, “the Guardian quoted the person as saying.

” But many past and present employees believe that the organization has had a racist culture that will last for many years e goes back. The opinions of whites are weighted more heavily than blacks from Kenya. ”

Many of the allegations revolve around a recent layoff program implemented following a loss of income following the government’s relief budget cut.