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Kenya opens new railway from Mombasa to Nairobi

Kenya opens new railway from Mombasa to Nairobi

The railroad is expected to eventually link cities across Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean. The first passenger train was flagged off from the new Mombasa Terminus station on May 31.

"A history that was first started 122 years ago when the British, who had colonised this nation, kicked off the train to nowhere.it was then dubbed the "Lunatic Express".

"It's a great opportunity for Kenyans to come and meet their stars and together celebrate our culture and welcome the New SGR as we celebrate Madaraka Day", said Okudo.

The railroad, named Madaraka Express, which construction costed $ 3,800 billion will allow to reach a speed of 120 kilometers per hour, half of the time spent on buses, will save multi-million dollar roads in railroad maintenance and will considerably increase Kenyan infrastructure, besides creating jobs and training native personnel.

The project has been dogged by accusations of corruption, concerns over the impact on wildlife and criticism of the hefty price tag blamed on poor negotiations with the Chinese.

The railroad, built with a $3.5 billion loan from Beijing to Kenya, is being met with skepticism in Kenya, where The Standard, a local newspaper, said the project would "tighten China's grip on the Kenyan economy".




"I think that is a little bit of wishful thinking", said economist Kwame Owino, questioning assumptions about the volume of cargo available to be carried, while warning high growth rates in east Africa were beginning to moderate.

Meanwhile, Kenyatta has said that he is serious about protecting his investment.

He warned that he would authorise the execution of vandals after four people were arrested damaging sections of a guardrail. "I will pass a law for them to be hanged". Any person who will damage or vandalize the public properties would face heavy consequences. "God forgive me. I will approve their hanging".

More than a century after a colonial railway gave birth to modern Kenya, the country is betting on a new Chinese-built route to cement its position as the gateway to East Africa.

With 90% of the construction cost funded by a Chinese state-owned bank, the railway is a successful example of a project linked to the One Belt, One Road program.


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