Jan 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Why Kenyan accusers refused to cooperate with British Council racism probe

They claim that they have been unfairly targeted by privileged senior managers of the Cultural Relations Organization in order to systematically demonstrate impunity.

They claim that the British Council wants to do a PR because they Want to select the type of cases to investigate and the type of evidence.

“So we told them that they would investigate either all or none. We also have evidence such as audio recordings, but they say it is not considered evidence, ”said an email to a Nation reporter.

Nation.Africa has a long email Experienced exchanges between the employees concerned, the British Council’s HR department and the appointed investigator. The exchange began in August and the complainants and human resources seem to disagree on how to conduct the investigation. “You have told us that the outside investigator will independently investigate all of our concerns, and have asked for any further concerns (will) be raised and shared with the independent and external investigator … to ensure the independence that both you and we seek, “said the complainants.

” Since you however, have insisted on your desire to manage evidence and select the type of cases to investigate, we regret to inform you that we have lost confidence in this process and will seek alternative means to share our pain and seek justice . “

On the other hand, the British Council says it has investigated the matter.

” We are keeping the possibilities of working with the author de s letter open. The author of the letter was not ready to be interviewed and has not yet presented any evidence to support the allegations, “the agency said on Tuesday.

The guidelines are unfair

The organization exists insisted on following its own guidelines for investigating complaints.

“In our view, for the sake of transparency and clarity, the investigation must be conducted within the framework of the relevant guidelines applicable to all current British Council staff as well as ours Management apply. Team that will review the results of the investigation, “it says.

” We do not accept that these guidelines are unfair as they have been the subject of consultations, equality reviews and impact assessments. “

< But the prosecutors shot back, writing, "While we appreciate your defense of the British Council's policy, we reiterate that this policy is unresponsive and does not deter impunity from some privileged members of the British Council's management."

They continued, “We are disappointed that you continue to show our insensitivity to our need, need and pain caused by indifferent members of the British Council.

” The British Council is aware of the circumstances and cases that are the subject of the letter we wrote to the Kenyan government after the British Council failed to address our concerns under the same poli tik that you continue to defend. “

The agency replied:” I would like to confirm that while the external investigator has been selected by the British Council and the process is being monitored by the British Council to ensure that the investigator has access to relevant people is an independent investigation commissioned by our Speak Up committee that reviews the final report and recommendations and decides what changes to policies and processes may be implemented immediately or in the future. “

Diversity and Inclusion

On Tuesday, 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 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.

The answer came a day after the Guardian newspaper in Das The UK published a story that said seven Kenyans wrote the letter with allegations of racism.

The Guardian article said the British Council had started investigating the allegations in the letter that high-ranking white executives had predominantly discriminated against the accusers because they were selected and examined for dismissal.

The British Council announced that the investigator explained the scope of the investigation to the author of the letter and asked them to commit and Asked availability for an interview.

“You had no cooperation with the author. 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 bureau’s 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.