DP Ruto faults critics of Nairobi- Suswa railroad

Deputy President William Ruto has dismissed critics of the Nairobi-Suswa Standard Gauge Railway, saying the project is viable.

Speaking yesterday in Sekenani, Nakuru West Constituency, Dr Ruto said even critics of the Meter Gauge Railway constructed by the British 100 years ago from Mombasa to Kisumu faced similar criticism.

"I have heard some people say the rail launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Suswa was a 'railway to nowhere'. Is Narok not Kenya?" Ruto asked.

"Even the Queen of England was criticised when she launched the old railway by people who called it the 'lunatic express', because to them it was built in the dark continent."

Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta opened the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project with a promise to push it to the Malaba border town.

Uhuru said despite the challenges expected in pushing the project beyond Suswa where it currently terminates, the government will not relent until the SGR hits Malaba.

Withheld funding

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Construction of the railway was halted earlier this year after the Chinese government withheld some Sh490 billion in funding.

Beijing’s sudden financial reticence appeared to catch the Governments of Kenya and Uganda off guard. Yesterday, Ruto also rooted for a cohesive country free from politics of hate and division.

He avoided the debate on the Building Bridges Initiative that proposes constitutional changes, and instead concentrated on the Jubilee development agenda.

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Nairobi-Suswa Standard Gauge RailwayDP William Ruto