Court Directs Government To Disclose SGR Contract

SGR Railway transport attributed to steady economic growth. | PHOTO COURTESY
Written By John Mutiso 📝

The Mombasa High Court has ordered the government to make the 605km long Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) contract public.

In a ruling delivered on Friday, May 13, the court stated that the government did not provide sufficient evidence in its defense to prove that the contract between it and the Chinese government was of national security and thus cannot be disclosed.

The court agreed with the petitioners – Khelef Khalifa and Anor – that it was within their rights to obtain such information from the government, particularly from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure.

“The court makes a declaration that failure to disclose information in letter of December 16, 2019, violates Article 35(1) and (3) and Article 10 of the constitution,” read the court documents.

The ruling on Friday comes despite the fact that the state objected to the move, claiming that making the document public would threaten national security.

However, the court ruled that the government had not provided enough evidence to support its claim that the contract between Kenya and the Chinese government was of national security concern and thus could not be disclosed.

After winning the election in 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration hired China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) as the main contractor in December 2014.

The railway line, which runs from Mombasa to Nairobi, opened in 2017 and cost a whopping Ksh.327 billion.

The Exim Bank of China covered roughly 90% of the project’s costs with two Ksh.185.9 billion loans.

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