China had demanded that the contract be kept a secret
Panic has gripped the national government senior officials who were involved in the contract between China’s Exim Bank and the Kenyan government over the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway.
The Nation on Sunday reported details of the controversial contract that China had demanded be kept secret unless the Asian nation gave express and written permission to disclose its contents.
The report leaked before President Uhuru Kenyatta could officially hand it over to journalist Mark Masai as promised during an interview held at State House Mombasa during the festive season.
On Monday, the Nation reported that senior officials had panicked over the matter, with a media tour organized by KRC on the progress of the second phase of the SGR being cancelled at the last minute.
The media familiarization tour had been slotted for Monday morning but was cancelled on Sunday night.
Office of Auditor General
Reports indicate that several crisis meetings had been planned for Monday morning to evaluate the consequences of leaking the contract to the public.
Kenyans, particularly on social media, did not take kindly the revelation that the contract had heavily favored China – including a clause that waived Kenya’s sovereignty over strategic assets in the event that the loan was defaulted.
Earlier, a leaked audit letter showed an officer in the Office of the Auditor General raising questions on why the Mombasa Port had been exposed to seizure in the SGR contract.
The contract makes it mandatory for the port to be used for handling all SGR cargo.
Economist David Ndii, however, warned that the revenue from the port would not be adequate to repay the debt owed to Exim Bank.
“Ignore kumira trolls. KPA annual revenue is 40b. SGR loans are 450b. Interest alone is 30b a year,” Ndii said on Twitter.