In a departure from tradition, President Uhuru Kenyatta has delegated the launch of three major infrastructure projects to his predecessors presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The projects are being launched ahead of the major fetes planned for the Kenya@50 celebrations which are planned for three days next week. Raila will on Monday be the chief guest at the launch of the Makadara Commuter Railway Station which is being launched by the Kenya Railways.
The following day, Kibaki will officially open the Western Ring Road, connecting Westlands, Kileleshwa and Hurlingham estates in Nairobi. On Wednesday, Moi will launchthe Imara Daima Commuter Railway Station.
The Makadara and Imara Daima railway stations are part of a project which is seeking to decongest the city of traffic by having more residents using trains.
Transport and Infrastructure Secretary Michael Kamau released the itinerary at a ceremony in which the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) was awarded an ISO9001-2008 certification by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Kamau said the three projects had been made possible through firm management of the procurement process, fighting corruption and political goodwill.
“Ask yourselves why projects in Kenya have not taken off in the past. There are people who think that nothing can happen unless they are involved,” he said.
And speaking yesterday on Citizen TV, Kamau dismissed critics of the $13.8 bn Mombasa-Nairobi rail project who said it was riddled with corruption and underhand.
“I call on people to first get information that is open to scrutiny before criticizing the project, ” he said of the project which President Uhuru Kenyatta described as a “historic milestone”when he participated in its ground breaking ceremony last week.
The critics have alleged that politics was involved in the governments ‘s awarding of the tender to a Chinese company. Kamau said most of the money will be spent on buying new locomotives as well as elevating the railway line in such areas like the Tsavo national Park to ensure it did not interfere with the wildlife.
Kamau also said the new transport regulations to be implemented this December will ensure that all public service vehicles are up to standard in their operations.
“We are going to ensure that all PSVs follow regulations. This means cutting down the number of vehicles in each sacco to around 40 from the current 200 for better management and also to ensure that no vehicle operates outside the Saccos,” he said.