Raila Odinga Betrayed, SGR extension to Kisumu halted

Raila Odinga Betrayed, SGR extension to Kisumu halted

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Storm is brewing up following the revelations by the Transport Cabinet  Secretary James Macharia on  Wednesday that refurbishment of the century-old rail network would start in coming months, marking a U-turn since the State had ruled out reviving the line that had fallen into disrepair.

Kenya has opted to upgrade the old railway track from Nakuru to Kisumu at cost of Sh3.8 billion and evacuate cargo and passengers to neighbouring countries , dimming hopes of connecting the standard gauge railway (SGR) line to Uganda.

This is seen as a blow to Raila who would have loved to use too woe voters from from the lake region and western Kenya come 2022 as a project his much publicised handshake with president Uhuru had achieved among many others for the region.

The rail line to be refurbished will connect to the recently refurbished Sh3 billion Kisumu port, which will ferry cargo to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo on ships via Lake Victoria.

 

This marks a change of earlier plans to upgrade the old metre gauge railway (MGR) line between Malaba border and Naivasha where the multi-billion shilling SGR line from Mombasa ends.

Kenya dropped its bid to extend the SGR to Kisumu and later on to the Ugandan border after failing to secure a multi-billion-shilling loan from China, which funded the first and second phases of the new railway line.

All these changes in previous plan have created a sense of betrayal for Odinga’s allies.