BY BMJ MURIITHI
It has been described as a game-changer and the project of the century. Costing about 327 Billion Shillings, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project goes down in history as one of the most expensive ventures undertaken by any government in East and Central Africa.
Today, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is a happy man. By flagging off the train, he is doing something akin to what he promised his supporters during the campaigns prior to the 2013 election. And although he had talked of a railway line from Mombasa to Malaba via Kisumu, his leutenants argue that ni heri nusu shari kuliko shari kamili.
It is a joint venture of the Kenyan and Chinese governments with funding coming from Exim Bank of China.
And even though the SGR has not been without controversy, especially in regard to the cost and the manner in which the tendering process was carried out, both friend and foe agree that train stations look spectacular and the inside of the couches are without a doubt, something never witnessed before in the East African nation.
Besides all that, completing the phase many months before schedule has also left tongues wagging, with some claiming that the mega-billion project was deliberately rushed by the jubilee government so as to be completed before the August general election in order to give Mr Kenyatta and his team some bragging rights.
The live video will load as soon as the event kicks off. In the meantime, please enjoy a ride from Nairobi to Mombasa with these reporters, beginning with NTV’s Nimrod Taabu. We will keep posting updates here in the run-up to the much anticipated flag-off. See you soon at the live event.
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