Government Halts SGR Extension to Kisumu

  • A locomotive on the new railway. Facebook
  • Transport and Infrastructure CS James Macharia says that the government has halted plans to extend the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu.

    In an exclusive conversation with KBC, CS Macharia stated that the government would instead rehabilitate the old railway line to facilitate the movement of goods.

    This comes in the wake of President Kenyatta's trip to China accompanied by ODM leader Raila Odinga seeking a Ksh368 billion loan from China to extend the SGR to Kisumu.

    He added that the government would now focus on seeking favorable financing terms with lenders to ensure the project is completed.

    CS Macharia is in China with President Uhuru Kenyatta's delegation, where he expressed confidence in the project indicating it had surpassed expectations. 

    A cargo locomotive on the old Kenya - Uganda railway line

    The government has come under criticism from Kenyans because of the accumulating debt the country has to China, most of which was forked out to finance Jubilee's mega infrastructural projects. 

    IEA, an independent economic think tank based in Nairobi, on Thursday urged President Kenyatta to make a renegotiation on Kenya’s loan terms with Beijing as he begins his tour of China to easen the current repayment pressure Kenya is facing on its debt obligation.

    Kenya owes China Ksh 722.6 billion according to the Treasury.

    Uhuru is welcomed by Chinese Premier Xi JinPing on arrival in Beijing.