Kenya Railways Given 90 Days to Recover Ksh 1B SGR Cash Paid to Unknown People

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the Nairobi-Suswa SGR line on October 19, 2019.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the Nairobi-Suswa SGR line on October 19, 2019.
    FILE
  • The Kenya Railways Corporation has been given a three months ultimatum to recover Ksh1 billion that was paid as compensation to unknown people allegedly affected by the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). 

    The Public Investment Committee (PIC) put to task KRC over the payments, citing that the Ksh1 billion compensation was paid to affected persons without the required documents in order to ascertain their identity and proof of ownership. 

    These documents include copies of Identity Cards, PIN certificates, and title deeds of the parcels of land. 

    The Mombasa Terminus of the Standard Gauge Railway.
    The Mombasa Terminus of the Standard Gauge Railway.
    File

    PIC Committee Chairman Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir added that the KRC was on the spot for overpayments of the stipulated land. 

    He noted that the KRC's accounting officer should ensure that the amount is fully recovered within the next 90 days. 

    "The committee recommends that the accounting officer for the KRC should ensure that the balance of overpayments is fully recovered within three months of the adoption of this report," Nassir stated.

    Further, Nassir faulted KRC over a loss of over Ksh194 million that was indicated in the corporation's balance sheets.

    "In Kenya Railways Corporation management's admittance of absence of these records due to abrupt leaving of Rift Valley Railways (RVR) indicated that there was a possible loss of revenue during this transition that had since been addressed," Nassir noted. 

    The committee also pointed out various parcels of land worth Ksh24 million that were illegally allocated to private developers. The committee noted that the KRC ought to repossess the land through the court system. 

    Past reports indicated that Kenya Railways has only repossessed 27 parcels of land across the country through court orders but is yet to fully recover another 529 parcels of land. 

    The 90-day deadline brings to light the controversy surrounding the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway whereby some politicians have alleged that the project was shrouded in graft. 

    The SGR, which opened in 2017, was valued at over Ksh420 billion, making it one of the most expensive infrastructure projects in the country. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (in red) and other leaders during a tour of Kenya Railways
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (in red) and other leaders during a tour of Kenya Railways.
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