Uganda has shocked Kenya by abandoning plans for the construction of the SGR project from Malaba to Kampala.
Apparently, some reports indicate that the cost and viability of the project, are some of the key issues putting the neighbouring country off. The reports further say that Uganda is preferring its old railway network, whose maintenance and rehabilitation will cheaper.
Nonetheless, it has said that it will wait for Kenya to solve its ‘issues’ with China before it can consider reentering the project.
But in an attempt to put on a brave face, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that Kenya would revamp the Kisumu Port in Lake Victoria to transport goods to Uganda and Rwanda via the lake in case the SGR terminates at Kisumu.
“In the worst case scenario, the Kisumu port would serve Rwanda and Uganda. We are, however, moving phase by phase. Thinking about Malaba for now is too much for the plate,” Mr Macharia told a local daily.
Fears have also been expressed that China might withhold funds for the project due to the recent ban on the importation of fish from China.
The SGR, which is a pet project of President Uhuru Kenyatta, has been criticized since inception due to its lack of adequate economic value. It has also left the country reeling from hundreds of debts that have further accelerated the high cost of living as the country struggles to honour repayments.