Kenyans have been treated to massive secrecy over the SGR contracts that were signed between the government and the EXIM bank of China. The contracts have been shrouded in secrecy that their nature became a serious campaign tool. The Kenyan Kwanza divide pledged to make the contracts a matter of public record. The contracts were signed in 2013/2014 financial year. They entail the fine loan details that were undertaken in order to finance the extensive Standard Gauge Railway.
The country can now rest easy or sigh a sign of relief after the Senate has declared its intention to grill treasury officials over the contracts. Immediately after the swearing in ceremony of President Ruto. Major media outlets reported that the country had been fined over 1.3 billion shillings by China for late loan payments. This came as a shock as Kenyans wondered on the fate of the beloved railway line.
According to a statement submitted to the Senate by Vihiga senator Godfrey Osotsi, He is seeking answers on how much the SGR has made in the last three years and the amount remitted. Initially the loans for the construction of the railway line was supposed to be repaid from revenues earned by the railway operations. However, almost 6 years down the line the railway has not reported any major profits forcing the taxpayers to shield the cost of repayments.
On his part,Osotsi wants answers on state-targeted interventions taken by the government to prevent the allege looming repossession of Kenya’s collateral assets by the Chinese lenders because of loan defaults.
“The committee should investigate the material loan agreements, project payments, projects adjustments of other capital projects from inception entered into by the government and financed by the Ministry of National Treasury and Economic planning, stating any defaults accrued to date,” said Osotsi.
“We need full disclosure of the country’s exposure in the SGR contracts. I have never understood why the government keeps the deal secret when we all have to pay for the loan,” said Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna.