SGR Set to be Extended to Kisumu

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Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen PHOTO/Courtesy

Roads and Transport Cabinet secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has revealed plans to extend the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to Kisumu.

However, speaking recently, the CS said the extension of the SFE that stopped in Naivasha will depend on the availability of resources.

Murkomen said the huge public debt will somehow affect the planned development projects by the Kenya Kwanza administration.

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“The SGR will eventually be moved to the border because our friends in Uganda are also working on their SGR and this will ensure the remaining connection is done but not at the current situation

“This project will only make sense when it goes past Naivasha as compared to the current situation where we are forced to transport goods by the lake instead of having it through the Kisumu port,” said the CS.

This comes days after Murkomen said the government will seek to agree a longer repayment period for the $US 5bn (KSh 607.5bn) lent by the Export-Import Bank of China to fund construction of the SGR.

He told parliament that servicing the loans, which mature in 15 to 20 years’ time, is choking the Kenyan economy by preventing the government from spending elsewhere.

“If we can manage to renegotiate to 50 years, then it will ease the burden. We are choked by loans,” Murkomen said.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Committee on Appointment, Murkomen promised to make public contract details of the SGR.

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He noted that the details of the contract have remained hidden despite Kenyans pushing to know whether the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) was used to guarantee the loans.

“I have spoken to everybody whom I thought was a person of influence in government and privy to the SGR contract but they have said they have never seen the SGR agreement

“I don’t want to name those I spoke to, but once I get into the office, I will look for it,” Murkomen said.

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