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DON’T CHANGE SGR ROUTE TO KISUMU FOR HANDSHAKE SAKE – BONI KHALWALE

Kenya’s SGR listed among best rail tours in the world

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has opposed plans to have the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) diverted to Kisumu, saying that was not the original route and that forcing SGR to Kisumu is a dead end that denies it viability in both the long and short term.

The original route for the second phase of the SGR was from Naivasha-Nakuru-eldoret-Turbo-Kavulengu-Webuye-Tanduyi-Malaba.

“This is the route we support as patriotic sons and daughters of this country and not this business of forcing the SGR to pass via Kisumu to support the handshake,” Khalwale said.

The second phase (2A) of the SGR, which is expected to be completed this year. The 120-km Nairobi-Naivasha line is the first of the three segments that make up the second phase of the SGR project that ends in Malaba town located at the Kenya-Uganda border.

The Mombasa-Nairobi phase cost was Sh327 billion, the extension to Naivasha Sh150 billion and the final phase will cost Sh380 billion.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga were in China last week to allegedly to seek for a loan to finance the third phase of the SGR.

Statehouse, however, refuted the allegations saying the Sh368bn SGR loan was not part of Uhuru-Jinping talks.

Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita issued a statement on Saturday, following reports in the media that China declined to give Kenya a Sh368 billion loan, saying the reports were “misleading and extremely damaging to the reputation of the people and the Government of the Republic of Kenya.”

“It is important to note that the question of funding for the extension of the standard gauge railway from Naivasha to Kisumu was not on the agenda of the meeting between the two Presidents. It therefore follows that the President cannot be said to be returning home empty-handed for something he did not request,” he said.

SGR Phase 2A Nairobi- Naivasha

Nzioka also announced that phase 2A of the SGR will be completed by August 2019.

He also said that the plans to rehabilitate the SGR to the port of Kisumu is an important step, which is aimed to ensure the continuous flow of cargo from Naivasha.

“To mitigate any risk of disruption to the movement of cargo, Kenya shared its short term plans to rehabilitate the meter gauge railway to the port of Kisumu to ensure seamless interconnection with the SGR at the Naivasha facilities,” he said.

Uhuru-Jinping talks “extremely successful”

Nzioka Waita also maintained that the talks between president Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese President Xi Jinping were extremely successful and highlighted the key “goodies” for Kenya that the meeting between the two leaders yielded. These include;

  1. The signing of a trade agreement for the export of frozen avocados from Kenya to China, which followed the signing of an MoU on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards late last year for the export to China from Kenya of various horticultural products.
  2. The signing of a Framework Agreement between the Kenya National Highways Authority and the China Road and Bridge Cooperation for the construction of Kenya’s first expressway from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Westlands.
  3. The signing of a financing agreement valued at Sh17 billion between the Kenya and China EXIM Bank for the construction of the Konza Technopolis Data Center and IT infrastructure.

 

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