Raila – Ruto inflated SGR Costs by Sh160bn

ODM leader Raila Odinga on Saturday kept up his attacks on Deputy President William Ruto over his mega cash donations to churches and welfare groups.Without mentioning the DP by name, Raila questioned the source of the donations, alleging the monies are proceeds of corruption that has taken root in the Jubilee administration.“He wants to do harambees for women groups and youth groups with cash stuffed in sacks. He goes to church. Then they say he respects God. But he is coming with your money,” he said in Mombasa where he is trying to shore up support.

“You are being bought with money stolen,” the former prime minister said.He even indirectly linked Ruto (as the Jubilee administration) to scrapping his(Raila’s) earlier plans for a less costly standard gauge railway and jacking up the price by Sh160 billion for Jubilee’s SGR.Just before Covid 19 hit the country, Ruto was on a whirlwind tour of the country, donating cash, equipment and other items to youth, women and churches in what he termed as empowerment programs.The DP has also been presiding over fundraisers in churches and elsewhere. His critics have questioned the source of his funds but the DP has told them off.Besides, Ruto has said he is a God-fearing power who must give thanks to the Almighty for raising him from grass to grace.Using his famous riddles, Raila cited an analogy of a farmer who used to keep many goats and sheep.But every morning one or more were missing.The farmer learnt a hyena was eating away his animals.And so, he built a proper structure for his animals to keep them safe.When the hyena came, it found the door closed and couldn’t open it.

Finally, the hyena visited a witch doctor who advised it to bleat like a sheep when it visited the animals.The hyena followed the advice and animals opened the door, thinking it was one of their own. The hyena ate all the animals.Raila said that is the trick of those making huge donations, deceiving Kenyans to elect them in 2022, only to turn against the electorate when they assume power.The former prime minister said that corruption is taking a heavy toll on Kenya as those in authority continue to make billions through inflation of project costs and other tactics.”Corruption is the biggest impediment to development. Kenya has no reason to borrow money from anywhere. We have enough money,” he said.He cited the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR, claiming that the project’s cost was inflated by more than Sh160 billion by the Jubilee administration.“This project called SGR was our project. We are the ones who started the project. We designed it and planned everything. We tendered and awarded the contract for $2.7 billion (about Sh270 billion).“When they (Jubilee) took over, they cancelled that and started a new one. They awarded a tender at $3.6 billion, then it went up to 4.3 billion,” he said.Raila, the AU special envoy on Infrastructure, said the Ethiopians built 760km SGR with only Sh360 billion – less than Sh430 billion Kenya spent on the 450km Mombasa-Nairobi line.This is despite the trains used in Kenya are diesel-powered while those in Ethiopia are electric.“You hear someone chest-thumping about what they have done, that we have built this and that. As him where did you take the extra money?” Raila said.He added, “Thieves who are supposed to be in Shimo La Tewa [Maximum Prison] are hovering around in choppers. When we take the reins of power, all these thieves will go to jail,” he said.