“I played a huge part in the development of the SGR’’ Wanjigi says
The Murang’a tycoon and political operative disclosed that he was the mastermind of the rail project in 2008 together with the China Road and Bridge Corporation.
In an interview with Citizen TV’s Linus Kaikai, Wanjigi said initially, the construction of SGR was set to cost only KSh 55 billion from Mombasa to Malaba, contrary to the project’s current costing of over KSh 330 billion.
The 2022 presidential hopeful added that the initial plan of the project was to be operated as a private entity funded by private cargo transporters with the government only providing the land.
In September 2020, details from a local source emerged that the SGR project recorded a KSh 21.6 billion loss in the three years to May 2020. This forced Kenya Railways to default on an estimated KSh 40 billion loan it was set to repay to China’s Africa Star Railway Operation Company which handles both passenger and cargo services on the railway.
According to a report by the Transport Ministry tabled in Parliament, the department disclosed the Chinese-built expensive railway registered KSh 25.03 billion in revenues during the period against high operation costs of KSh 46.71 billion set to be plugged by burdened taxpayers.