Tell us the SGR route, demand Kajiado locals
‘You are cheating about the SGR route. The park is not negotiable and that’s the position of the community’
Officials from the Kenya Railways Corporation on Wednesday evening were taken to task to explain how beacons were placed on farms without the knowledge of Kajiado land owners.
The meeting degenerated into a heated debate as residents demanded to know why Chinese, accompanied by armed police, stormed their land, erecting beacons without their consent.
Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina was absent as he was ‘held up at State House for a meeting’. Instead, he delegated the role to SGR adviser Solomon Ouna and officials from the security department and corporate communications.
On August 12, residents had given the government an ultimatum of two weeks to explain “why Chinese had tresspassed”. “Finding the route from Mombasa to Malaba is a very big challenge. There are many expensive properties and many people understand the Constitution,” Ouna said. Residents disapproval.
An agitated Africa Network for Animal Welfare coordinator Daniel ole Osoi said, “You are cheating about the SGR route. The park is not negotiable and that is the position of the community.” According to Ouna, the state is ‘scratching its head’ as it looks at the six options for the route of the multi-billion project.
Ouna tried to convince residents that none of the routes had been approved. He said the contract is under Engineering, Procurement, and Construction where the builder looks for the possible route, before taking to it to the railway management for recommendation and the ministry for Cabinet approval.
“We have been told the President is going to launch the project on September 26. How do you launch a project whose route has not been determined?”Osoi said.
But Ouna said the launch is meant to ensure the mega project kicks off successfully. “We came here because you wanted a conversation. We
A section of the SGR at DK31 Mtito Andei on May 1