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Gov’t Spent Sh1 Billion On SGR Grass Lawns, Sh239 million To Entertain Chinese Workers

SGR NIGHT TRAINS
Standard Gauge Railway /Courtesy

The Government spent Sh1 billion of taxpayers’ money on grass lawns along the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

According to reports by the Nation, the SGR which turned out to be one of the most expensive projects resulting to increased debts by the government detailed exorbitant use of public funds.

For instance, apart from the Sh1 billion spent on grass, other funds were excessively spent on entertaining the Chinese staff as well as taking care of their daily needs yet Kenyan workers lived normal lives in temporary shelters.

Sh239 million was used to provide entertainment for the expatriate staff during their time in the country.

The publication reports that during the construction period, despite the Chinese contractors portraying a normal life, the Government had poured large amounts of money to sustain their lavish living.

Read:Nation Journalist Covering Mombasa SGR Protests Clobbered By Police

The breakdown of the expenditure reveals that the lead engineer in the SGR project used at least Sh5 million to cater for airtime for the period of three years.

He was also accorded the privilege where he was supplied with furniture for his office at a cost of Sh57 million with each of his computers estimated to have been purchased at Sh280,000 per computer while the laser jet printers in his office cost Sh513,700.

The lead engineer’s personal residence was also furnished at a cost of Sh3 million, with the total money spent on entertaining the Chinese costing Sh239 million in three years.

Other exaggerated expenditures included purchasing of portable radios at Sh119,100, digital recorders at Sh341,500 against the normal price of Sh2,000 locally.

Read Also: At Least 20 Activists Arrested In SGR Protests Over Gov’t Cargo Directive

Additional Sh28,800 was spent on station loudspeakers, Sh1.14 million on video cabinets and Sh180,000 on workshop benches and Sh7.4 million on the ticketing system.

The majority of the items used for the construction were imported from China, including the six welding machines per station.

There was the role of an electric engineer at every station who was given a vehicle at the cost of Sh4.5 million, and the vehicles were shipped into the country without payment of stamp duty.

The passenger guiding system used by the Chinese company cost Sh38 million and for every luggage inspection, Sh26 million was used.

Read Also:Here’s The ‘Secret’ Company Running SGR Behind The Scenes; Africa Star Railway Operation Company

Every security system cost Sh14.6 million, with the first phase of the SGR costing Sh327 billion.

46 A3 laser printers were bought at Sh513,700 each for use at the stations during construction. The printers currently cost between Sh40,000 and Sh75,000.

The costs are reported to have been escalated considering the SGR operates on a diesel-fueled engine as compared to Tanzania’s electric line which was quoted at a lower price.

Currently, the SGR is operating under losses with operation costs adding up to Sh1.5 billion per month against the total revenue collection of Sh841 million monthly.

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email news@kahawatungu.com

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