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Uhuru says he will sanction hanging of SGR saboteurs

President Uhuru during the launch of SGR passenger train in Mombasa. (Photo: Gideon Maundu/Standard)

President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke tough against vandalising key infrastructure installations including the railway line.

Uhuru described such criminals as economic saboteurs who should be hanged after trial.

The Head of State later on at 11:00 am officiated the opening of the state of the art passenger train before boarding together with the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, a delegation from the People’s Republic of China and several cabinet minister for the rail trip.

''Those who shall be found guilty of having vandalised such key projects will be hanged. Acts of vandalism on key principal projects are economic saboteurs and this is a capital offence whose punishment is death,'' the Head of State said.

In the past week close to ten people have been arrested in Voi, Mariakani and Athi River trying to vandalise the SGR line. Several have been charged.

Security was tight at the venue with Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) helicopters and those from the Kenya Police Air wing flying ahead of the passenger train.

Uhuru said that he has never signed document to commute people to hang, instead they have been handed life sentences but he will not hesitate to sign papers to commute such culprits to hang.

He said that vandals always have motives.

''They do not want the best from anything. In the case of SGR vandalism, they (culprits) are out to portray the Jubilee administration in bad taste. SGR is not for Uhuru, Ruto or Jubilee. SGR is a project for all Kenyans and is built by Kenyan tax payers money,'' Uhuru said.

President Uhuru spoke at the Mombasa Terminus in Mombasa County during the official launch of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train dubbed Madaraka Express which he boarded to travel to Nairobi.