By E Njega
IF THIS DOESN’T MAKE YOU CRY FOR THIS COUNTRY I WONDER WHAT WILL
The way transport CS James Macharia is running things is very shocking. In 2016, Macharia cancelled the KShs 56 billion Greenfield Terminal which Uhuru Kenyatta had launched in 2013 with fanfare. The launch ceremony alone cost the country KShs 75 million.
Macharia then told Business Daily that the project was cancelled because studies had shown that it would yield no value for money and that it would make more sense to build as second runway at JKIA.
“We have stopped the Greenfield project because it has no value for money. We would rather spend that cash building a second runway as opposed to a new facility,” he said.
Following the cancellation of the Greenfield Terminal project a Chinese firm was paid KShs 4.3 Billion without doing any work.
The absurd thing is that now CS Macharia has cancelled the second runway project claiming it is no value for money and now arguing that investment is needed in terminals which is what the Greenfield terminal project sought to do in 2013.
The runway project is being cancelled when the government has already raised money for it from African Development Bank. Tendering process was also in progress.
“In February last year, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) announced that the cost of the second runway had been revised downwards from Sh37 billion to Sh21.9 billion.” Business Daily
Could the reduction of the runway cost from KShs 37 billion to KShs 22 billion be the reason why the project is being shelved to be revived later at inflated cost?
This saga is very painful. Other countries in the region are investing heavily in their air transport hubs e.g. Rwanda, Ethiopia and even Tanzania. If the right investments aren’t made in time then we will lose out to competition.
How can one man be trusted to be making such major decisions for a country? Where is parliament in all this madness? Isn’t Cabinet supposed to collectively make such important decisions? Sadly, the Cabinet rarely meets since Jubilee took over. These are some of the consequences of running the government in such a casual manner.