Kenyan Court Declares Railway Contract worth 3.2 Billion with China as Illegal

Kenya’s appellate court has ruled that China's billion-dollar railway contract with Kenya was illegal. The agreement was signed in 2014 between the Kenya Ministry of Railways and the Chinese company China Road Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
Kenyan Court Declares Railway Contract worth 3.2 Billion with China as Illegal

Kenya's appellate court has ruled that China's billion-dollar railway contract with Kenya was illegal. The agreement was signed in 2014 between the Kenya Ministry of Railways and the Chinese company China Road Bridge Corporation (CRBC). It was challenged in court by Kenyan activist Okiya Omtatah and the law society of Kenya. The agreement is worth a total of $ 3.2 billion.

Why did questions arise?

In his appeal, he had said – Railways are directly connected to the public. It is necessary to have transparency in its work. Tenders were not even issued for this agreement. Then how was it directly given to the Chinese company? Millions of dollars on the contract will go through the pocket of the country's taxpayers. A report on the difficulties faced by the Chinese company in Kenya has also been published in the Chinese newspaper South China Morning Post.

Why did the court declare the agreement illegal?

During the hearing of the case, the court found that Kenya Railways did not take care of the law while signing the contract with the Chinese company. Therefore, it is illegal. Let us tell you that this project is in a way part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China. Billions of dollars will be spent on this.

The appeal was rejected by the High Court:

The High Court has dismissed the appeal for hearing on the deal which has been declared illegal by the trial court. The special thing is that the documents which were ignored by the High Court during the appeal, the lower court, based on the same documents, declared the agreement illegal. In fact, the High Court had said that the documents used by those filing the appeal are secret. That is, they cannot be made public.

Major part of the project completed:

The work on the project began in 2017. A large part of it has been completed. Railways and the government are in trouble after the decision of the lower court. Preparations are being made to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court. The Kenyan government had taken a loan from Exim Bank of China for this project.

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