Kenya turns to China for SGR management after Kibwezi scare

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya has sought the services of 400 Chinese experts to be part of the daily operations of the Madaraka express, launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in June.

According to China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the firm that built the multi-billion railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi, the specialists are drawn from the field of security, engineering and others.

The firm entered into a deal with Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) for operations and maintenance, requiring the Chinese expertise to build local capacity of personnel.

"We have 400 operation team from China who have signed a contract and they will be around for quite some time," said Zhao Yang, the CRBC communication's manager.

He continued, "They will work in Kenya for five to ten years till the railway operation is completely handed over to the Kenyan team. They are experienced engineers, security personnel and staff of rail operation in china."

He explained that the foreign experts will be working closely with the locals on the operations of the train.

When contacted, the KRC Managing Director Atanas Maina confirmed the cooperation, saying it will enhance local capacity and efficiency of the rail management.

This comes just two days after the Madaraka Express stalled in Kibwezi for some time on Wednesday, which KRC attributed to a technical hitch, which has since been rectified.