Two Kenyan Governors are fighting over a century old colonial relic worth USD2.5bn

Last year, eight governors hailing from Mt Kenya region committed to reviving and rehabilitating the 240-kilometer railway from Nairobi to Isiolo at a cost of Sh25 billion.

  • Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga and Kirinyaga governor, Anne Waiguru have clashed over the location of the main station of the Nairobi-Nanyuki Railway that is being revived.
  • The railway is expected to transverse eight counties that pledged to contribute Sh100 million ($1m) to jumpstart the revival of the colonial passenger and cargo train.

Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga and Kirinyaga governor, Anne Waiguru have clashed over the location of the main station of the Nairobi-Nanyuki Railway that is being revived.

Speaking during the launch of road maintenance equipment in Sagana, Ms Waiguru said the station should be in Sagana town, a small industrial town in Kirinyaga County.

“There is a contest between some counties because there are people who want the station to be located in their counties but we know Sagana used to be the first station” She said.

The former devolution minister instead asked residents of Kirinyaga to desist from endless squabbles and focus on developing the county.

“If we continue with petty squabbles we will be denied a chance to have a regional station in Sagana because when they get information that we’re fighting, business people will refuse to bring trade to us. Let us embrace peace.” Said Ms Waiguru.

However, on Thursday, his Nyeri counter path said the main station was traditionally in Karatina and should remain there.

Mr Kahiga said Karatina was the original station before the collapse of the 1913 railway two decades ago.

Adding that there was an existing network in Karatina and the agreement was that the railway move from Nairobi to Isiolo County.

“Why do we need to reinvent the wheel?” asked Mr Kahiga.

“We have the infrastructure in Karatina; we just need to modernise it,”

The Nyeri governor noted that there would be no problem with having two railway stations in both Sagana and Karatina.

“We can have a substation in Sagana and have a main station in Karatina as it was in the past. I would go for that.”

The railway is expected to transverse eight counties that pledged to contribute Sh100 million ($1m) to jumpstart the revival of the colonial passenger and cargo train service that is projected to enhance trade in the region.

From Nairobi, the railway is expected to pass through Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Nanyuki to Isiolo counties.

Later on, the governors hope to link it to the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor.

The Current railway line is the colonial era 50- pound-load type, capable of carrying three light locomotives.The rehabilitation will see it upgraded it to 80-pound load so that a single train can carry 1,400 tonnes of goods.

The railway line is expected to open up the region and farmers are especially optimistic that the revival of the railway will remove middle-mens who have been exploiting farmers for decades and also increase market accessibility

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