Rigathi Gachagua’s Claim on the Cost of the Nairobi-Nanyuki is INACCURATE

Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua during the Deputy Presidential debate stated that the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway was put up at a cost of Sh3.8 billion. He then added that the railway line was only used by “one company that transports oil.”

“There is a railway line between Nairobi and Nanyuki put up at a cost of Sh3.8 billion. That railway line serves one company that transports oil.”

Background

The Nairobi-Nanyuki railway line was rehabilitated in 2020 as part of a 2,046 km railway network that runs across Kenya, the goal being to open up the Central Region to the Coast for easier transport of goods such as fuel and farm produce. It is expected to draw in Sh370 million in annual revenue. 

Verification

According to the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) former chairman John Ngumi, the project cost a total of Sh3 billion.

“KPC paid the government Sh1.8 billion in the form of a special dividend which enabled the government to pay Kenya Railways to do that work. Total contract amount was approximately Sh3 billion of which Sh1.8 billion was cash and the balance was in labour, engineering skills, in management and in material,” John Ngumi clarified.

Mr John Ngumi stated the same figures on August 3, 2022, in a live radio interview on Spice FM’s the Situation Room

According to KPC’s Annual Report and Financial Statements of 2020, KPC expended Sh1.8 billion to the national government for the rehabilitation of the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway line. See screen grab below.

Additionally, contrary to what Mr Rigathi Gachagua stated, despite Vivo Energy Kenya being the anchor carrier, the railway line does not serve only one oil company. It is also used to transport cargo, passengers, livestock and farm inputs.

Verdict

Rigathi Gachagua’s claim that the rehabilitation of the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway cost Sh3.8 billion is OVERSTATED by Sh800 million.

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Thomas Mukhwana

Thomas Mukhwana is a broadcast journalist and fact-checker. He is passionate about storytelling, sustainable development and policy in the African context.