Why Uhuru's SGR Launch Was Political And Not Business Centered
Oct. 11, 2019
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the standard gauge railway with a maiden and historic trip from Mombasa to the capital Nairobi. There is a lot of hype in social media with kenyans excited about this new development with many ready to take a trip in the trains. However, the the president launched a political bid and not a business bid. The president's intentions were to gain political mileage against his opponents.
There are too many shortcomings on the business side of the launch which implies that the government was not ready for business but just politics. There's no online booking and buying of tickets. With such an investment costing billions of shillings the government should have been prudent enough to set up an online portal where passengers can book and buy tickets for their rides.
Hundreds of travellers were stranded at the Miritini Railway Station because all the 1200 tickets had been bought out. One Stanley Mwangi could not believe he was not going to take his first ride in the new railway.
“I have been told the ride is so smooth you don’t realise the train is moving and I wanted to have a feel. I am disappointed, until they introduce online booking, you will not see me here,” he said.
One can only pay cash for the tickets as Mpesa and credit cards are not allowed. In this day and age where mpesa has revolutionized payments in the country, the management has not taken it aboard. Mpesa should have been made compulsory. This would have reduced possible loss of money. The restaurants and food stalls around the stations are not yet functional. With a journey of more than four hours its common sense that some travelers will require water or soft drinks while others might want food and other stuff. This would have been additional revenue to what is collected from fare.
There is also no signage directions to the railway stations. Also within the stations most of the signage is in Chinese which defeats the logic as were are an English speaking country. With this type of signage one could easily get lost.
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