SGR project will have negative impact on lorry transporters, says Governor Joho

President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the first cargo train on the Standard Gauge Railway in Mombasa. PHOTO: COURTESY,

Mombasa, KENYA: Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho has said the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will greatly interfere with the working of other stakeholders in the transport sector.

Addressing the public during the Madaraka Day celebrations at the Tononoka Grounds on Thursday, Joho said SGR will economically affect the stakeholders in the transport sector negatively, while most of them depend on it for their livelihood.

The county boss added that it would have been better if the project would have alternative competitors so that the transport sector can be uplifted.

“This project called SGR will have a negative impact on our transporters. Most of them will be denied of their rights taking into consideration the fact that they entirely depend on it.” said Joho.

The governor admitted that the opposition is not against the SGR project, but noted that as the governor of Mombasa he has to ensure that personal issues affecting the general citizens are addressed.

He however rubbished claims that the Kenya Ports Authority is being relocated to Naivasha, but insisted that the working of the Kenya ports authority is being relocated to another place very far from Mombasa County.

The county official claimed that KPA would not be used as a guarantor for the SGR loan, adding that there is no connection between the two companies.

“Kenya Ports Authority would not have been used as a guarantor for the mega SGR project. There is no connection between these two companies. I believe the Kenya Railways and the National Treasury would have stood as guarantors.” Joho said.

He observed that instead of the project uplifting the lives of Mombasa residents, it will do otherwise  on claims that they were not involved in its implementation.

President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched SGR operations on Wednesday at Port Reiz where the cargo train trip from Mombasa was flagged off.

The Charges for containerized cargo from the Port of Mombasa to the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi have been set at $500 (Sh51,675), while Other freight will cost Sh32,800 to transport.

Normally, it costs about sh. 80,000 to transport containerized cargo from the Port of Mombasa to Nairobi.

The Madaraka day celebrations were attended by  the Mombasa county commissioner Evans Achoki, Mombasa deputy county commissioner Mohammed Salim, Mvita law maker Abdulswammad Nassir, Mombasa gubernatorial aspirant and Nyali legislator Hezron Awiti, and other high profile leaders from across the political divide.