The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya Railways Chair Quizzed Over China Roads

Economic experts have warned that the Standard gauge Railway project will have more implications on the economy than the current wage bill which is ... ( Resource: Kenya Rail Project to Weigh On Wage Bill - Experts

The Kenya Railways Corporation did not ask the World Bank why China Roads and Bridges had been blacklisted from taking the bank's projects across the world before it was awarded the Sh447 Mombasa-Nairobi railway construction project.

Kenya Railways managing director Athanas Maina yesterday told the National Assembly's Public Investment Committee that they did not write to the World Bank "because we know they won't give us the information."

"We did not write to the World Bank because they do not respond and if they do, they are guided by the confidentiality principal," Maina said.

Maina said KRC instead wrote to the Chinese embassy which refuted claims that the firm had been blacklisted.

He said KRC checked with the Public Procurement Oversight Authority but the Chinese firm did not appear as one of those debarred by the World Bank. The response put KRC on the spot with committee members questioning the motive.

"The procurement agency has complained about the activities of the CRBC before this committee and you are saying they cleared the firm over the World Bank allegations.

Did you attempt to get a response from the bank?" committee chair Cornelly Serem said. Maina said he will seek information from the lending institution and update the committee.

The Chinese firm was suspended by World Bank in 2008 from undertaking its financed road projects across the world for eight years and has since been kicked out of 10 such projects in Ethiopia.

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