Raila Odinga insists Naivasha-Kisumu SGR plan still on
Masolo Mabonga|May. 14, 2019
- Raila accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta to China in what he had early indicated as a move to negotiate for the loan
- Reports surfaced later indicating the two leaders failed to agree with their Chinese government on the matter
- A section of Kenyans who were opposed to the move celebrated the news slamming the government for over-borrowing
- State House later dismissed claims that government went to Beijing with an aim of negotiating for a loan
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has maintained construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Kisumu will continue as planned despite failing to secure China loan to facilitate the process.
Raila accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta to Beijing to, among other deliberations, negotiate for a loan that would support completion of the second phase of the mega project.
Reacting to media reports indicating the future of the project was thrown into disarray following the flopped China deal, the former premier on Monday, May 13, blamed the media for misreporting on the matter arguing they never failed and the project would continue.
"We never failed in China, the media has been coming up with all sorts propaganda about this matter and I don't know why they are so negative, be positive. As I mentioned and I want to repeat, the line of SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu is on," he said
Prior to heading to Beijing, Raila, while addressing residents in Kisumu county revealed that he would accompany the president to China to negotiate for a loan that would facilitate construction of the line from Naivasha to the lakeside city.
The revelation angered a section of Kenyans who felt the government was over-borrowing and to a large extend misusing the loan through fraudulent deals, leaving the burden for taxpayers to bear.
When the news that the deal had flopped surfaced, there was mixed reactions with some openly celebrating and mocking the president and his delegation for suffering the humiliation.
State House was, however, quick to downplay the reactions arguing the two governments never discussed the matter and that it was not even part of the agenda.
Raila's claim that they never failed in China and the project would continue as planned complicates the matter further, as a keen interpretation of the statement could mean there were negotiations and possible progress on the same.
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