How Chinese Construction Company Forced Kenyan Staff Undergo HIV/AIDS Test Against Her Will Then Made Result Public

A Chinese construction company China Henan International Co-operation Group Co. Ltd (CHICO) forced a Kenyan employee to undertake an HIV/AIDS test made the results public and later sacked her. The employee (names withheld) revealed that together with other employee’s was forced against their will to undergo HIV testing. The lady revealed that she was not willing to undergo the test, but she was made to understand that it was either she took the test or lose her job, so she chose to keep her job. Her first test was negative but one of the senior employees in the company, allegedly working on orders from the bosses, forced her to retake the HIV test for a second time. 

China Henan International Co-operation Group Co. Ltd (CHICO)

The second test was characterized by physical assault against her; she was forced into submission for HIV testing. The senior employee then went ahead to disclose her HIV status to all that were present at the Quarry site. She was summarily dismissed by word of mouth.  Investigations reveal that she was ambushed soon after coming back from lunch break one day, when she reported back she was surprised to see some people who told her that they were waiting for her to conduct an HIV test on her.

After the dismissal, she reported the matter at the Police Station and obtained an OB number. The DCIO accompanied her to her former employer’s head office for a meeting, after which the DCIO proceeded to the site and picked up the boss for questioning.  Upon inquiry by the DCIO, the company’s representative proposed to pay the claimant some money, including house allowances and 6 months’ salary, which she declined.

The Weekly Vision has also discovered that at the point of employment, the claimant was not required to take an HIV test, and neither was she informed that the test would be a pre-condition to keeping her job. The matter found its way to the HIV/AIDS tribunal which found out that the employer used its position of power to intimidate the employee into agreeing to be tested for HIV, against her will. The tribunal found the company guilty and awarded the former employees for damages.

The ruling reads in part “Judgment is, therefore, entered in the sum of Ksh. Sh1.6m in favor of the former employee against the employee”. She was paid Ksh. 250,000 being for damages for conducting an HIV test on her without her informed consent, Ksh.500,000 being damages for the unlawful disclosure of her status to third parties without her consent and Ksh. 850,000 being damages for emotional and psychological distress as a result of the stigma brought on by the disclosure of her status.

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