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Kenya Railways to be grilled on SGR cargo firms

cargo train
A cargo train at the Embakasi inland container depot in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) could be compelled to make public details of the award of multi-billion-shilling tenders for the transportation of bulk cargo using the standard gauge railway (SGR) to two Mombasa-based companies.

An MP wants Parliament to discuss the award of the tender to Grain Bulk Handlers Limited (GBHL) and Autoport Freight Terminals Ltd.

Sirisia MP John Waluke said he will table a Motion in the National Assembly to deliberate on the contracts.

“My team has already drafted the Motion and expects it to be ready for tabling. I expect that it will be given priority by the House Business Committee,” Mr Waluke told the Business Daily.

He said that his decision was informed by an investigative report carried by the Sunday Nation on the award of the lucrative tenders.

The report showed that KRC awarded GBHL and Autoport Freight Terminals Ltd the contracts at a special rate of Sh45,000 to transport a wagon of loose cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi, down from Sh214,700.

In the deal, GBHL said it will move 4.3 million tonnes per year, while Autoport undertook to move 1.6 million tonnes.

The report further revealed that KRC leased two of its depots in Nairobi to the firms for free for a period of 45 years. The GBHL has been handling grain and fertiliser at Mombasa port for many years while Autoport has been handling freight in Mombasa.

According to the report, the two companies will benefit from privileged handling to transport cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi over a period of 10 years at up to 80 percent discount.

Mr Waluke said that he intends to raise issues that will require the committee on transport to invite KRC to shed more light on the contracts.

“There are questions on granting of the lucrative tenders. I will be questioning whether the tender was advertised for other players to place their bids as required by the procurement law… I will be asking Parliament and the committee responsible for the oversight of KRC to explain how the firms were arrived at in the award of the tender.”

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