After the flopped promise to influence the extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Kisumu, African Union infrastructure envoy Raila Odinga is expected to once again make a major declaration next week.
Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta have since gone mum about the railway issue after Raila's claims that they would secure a Chinese loan for the job, but as it appears, they will soon be announcing the way forward on the matter.
Later in the week, Raila and Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia are expected to make announcements on the government's plans for Western Kenya, including the railway issue and the refurbishment of the Kisumu Port.
However, Macharia has since insisted that the state is keen on linking the SGR to Kisumu and Malaba, the options including refurbishing the Meter Gauge Railway and joining it with the SGR at Naivasha, all the way to the Ugandan border.
He said that this could be used as a short term remedy before the government secures the finances to build a new SGR to Kisumu.
“The condition of that section is so bad, that it may be more prudent to do a new line altogether or wait for the construction of SGR Phase 2B. It is currently non-operational and in economic terms, it’s better to wait for the SGR 2B,” he said on Saturday.
After their said failure to secure the alleged Sh368 billion loan from China, State House denied the issue, noting that the Uhuru-Raila joint China visit had nothing to do with such a loan.