Kenya lawmakers seek details of $5 billion rail loan after contract partially released

Some Kenyan lawmakers are demanding to see more documents about a $5 billion loan deal with a Chinese bank that financed a cross-border railroad. The 2011 agreement was not made public until Kenya’s transport secretary Kipchumba his Murkomen released some pages on Sunday.

Critics of the deal with the China Exim Bank, which funded the standard gauge railway, say the pages show the Kenyan government has given China too much legal power, and the parliament Lawmakers now want to know whether Kenya is pledging public facilities as collateral for deals.

One of the clauses states that major disputes over railroads will be decided in Beijing, not Nairobi, meaning Chinese officials have the final say in such disputes. It is not clear whether

The documents also show, among other things, that the Kenyan government had a legal obligation to keep the details of the transaction confidential.

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Kenyan political analyst Javaz Bigambo said it was illegal to force the state to hide such information from the public.

“The non-disclosure agreement stipulated in that contract is itself illegal and Kenya’s procurement law advocates a transparent procurement process,” Vigambo said.

Another part of the agreement obliges Kenya not to purchase railway materials from countries other than China.

Some legislators believe that key details of the contract, such as loan collateral, are still missing.

“If it is a public facility, a public institution or a public investment, what is the collateral for this loan,” said Kenyan MP John Kiale. “There have been rumors that some government agencies have been put in place as infrastructure, so it’s only natural that Kenyans know. There has always been debate about whether to use the airport as collateral for this loan.” was.”

Critics questioned Markomen’s motives for not releasing the deal in its entirety.

MP Makari Mull believes Murkomen disclosed only routine parts of the deal.

“In all contract negotiations, the government usually has a legal entity that goes through all the terms and advises the government if it’s okay to sign,” Mulu said. It was a joke that there was a clause and a dispute resolution clause and Markomen was telling me to release it.”

The nearly 600 km long railway linking the port city of Mombasa to the town of Naivasha, 75 km northwest of Nairobi, opened five years ago. Critics say it has been underutilized and failed to generate the income and economic development envisioned by the project’s backers. occupies.

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