27 January 2014

Kenya: Call to Halt Controversial Rail Project

Photo: Nation
Railway line construction (file photo).

Nairobi — PROMINENT anti-corruption proponents called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to halt the Standard Gauge Railway project until investigations into alleged corruption were complete.

Among those calling for the deferment of the project include John Githongo and former Ethics and Anti-corruption Director, Dr Plo Lumumba, who argued that investigations would ensure transparency.

“The stories, rumours and perceptions with regard to this project need to be set aside for it to be accepted by Kenyans as something that we actually do need and is not tagged as another Anglo-leasing or another Goldenberg,” said Githongo.

Lumumba concurred.

“All government agencies are involved and it is already on record the Attorney General who is the Chief legal advisor has said that his office was not involved. The Director of Public Procurement has also said as much and we hold the view that it is in the interest of Kenyans that all these custodians of the Kenyan constitution get involved,” said Lumumba.

He added, “It is better to have a delay of six months and have something that has value for money than to allow this particular scheme to continue under this shadow of corruption.”

The Public investments Committee and the Departmental Committee on Transport are currently investigating the rail project after it was shrouded in controversy.

Among the issues the committees are probing include the conducting of feasibility study for the project, the tendering process and the insurance component of the loan extended by China to Kenya on a government to government basis.

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