Show Us the Contracts Tracker

Updates on our efforts to obtain the Standard Gauge Railway contracts - in court and by other means
Case filed: 21 June 2021Current status: Ongoing

Our quest to get the information that Kenyans deserve to see

Last updated: 23 September 2021

This page provides updates on the court case filed by Okoa Momabsa and the Institute for Social Accountability (TISA) to obtain contracts, agreements and studies related to the construction and operation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

Our original petition was filed on 21 June 2021, and can be read here. The government’s response to our petition – filed Aug. 12, 2021, is here.

The KES 450 billion (USD 4.2 billion) SGR is the most expensive infrastructure project in Kenya’s history, and was financed mostly via loans through the Export-Import Bank of China. President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to release the contracts in 2018, but has yet to follow through.

Despite the enormous cost to Kenyan taxpayers, agreements and studies related to the project and its financing have never been made public.

Our petition argues that Kenya’s Constitution prohibits confidential contracts for infrastructure projects like the SGR, which demand public participation and accountability. Kenyans have a right to know how their taxes are being spent, to participate in those decisions and to hold their government accountable. We can’t participate if we don’t have the basic information with which to form our opinions.

Our video explains more:

Okoa Mombasa’s quest to obtain the SGR conracts stretches back to 16 December 2019. That’s when we filed an Access to Information (ATI) request with the Government of Kenya, seeking the release of agreements, contracts and other documents relating both to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Container Terminal 2 (CT2) at the Port of Mombasa.

Our request from December 2019 was simple: We wanted the government to #ShowUsTheContracts, as is our right under Kenya’s constitution. Our ATI request demanded these documents from various government entities.

Unfortunately, over one and a half years later, we have yet to receive a substantive response. That’s why we filed suit.

Our original ATI requests and government responses can be found in the table at the bottom of this page.

Note: a number of the responses below are from the Office of the Ombudsman, which is the government agency tasked with ensuring enforcement of the Access to Information Act. These letters were sent to the government agencies at issue, demanding release of the documents. These were mostly ignored.  

Table of responses: Access to Information Request for SGR & CT2 contracts

DateFromLinkNotes
17/12/2019Okoa MombasaFull requestOkoa Mombasa's original ATI request.
18/12/2019Kenya RailwaysFull letterRefused to provide documents. “Not able to provide the information on account of Section 6(1) and (2) Access to Information Act and due to contractual obligations of the parties.”
23/12/2019Okoa MombasaFull letterOur response to Kenya Railways' 18 Dec 2019 letter, asking for clarifications re non-disclosure.
17/01/2020Office of the OmbudsmanFull letterLetter from the Ombudsman to the Ministry of Transport, demanding compliance with Okoa Mombasa's ATI request.
17/01/2020Office of the OmbudsmanFull letterLetter from the Ombudsman to the Kenya Ports Authority, demanding compliance with Okoa Mombasa's ATI request.
17/01/2020Office of the OmbudsmanFull letterLetter from the Ombudsman to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, demanding compliance with Okoa Mombasa's ATI request.
17/01/2020Office of the OmbudsmanFull letterLetter from the Ombudsman to the Registrar General, demanding compliance with Okoa Mombasa's ATI request.
06/02/2020Kenya National Bureau of StatisticsFull letter

SGR statistics

Port statistics
Response to the Ombudsman's 17 Jan 2020 letter, providing statistics for the SGR & Port of Mombasa
06/03/2020Registrar GeneralFull letterResponse to the Ombudsman's 17 Jan 2020 letter, requesting payment for the documents requested (650 Ksh search fee & 500 Ksh per page for certified copies).
12/03/2020Office of the OmbudsmanFull letterLetter from the Ombudsman in response to the Registrar General's 6 March 2020 letter.
16/03/2020Office of the OmbudsmanFull letterLetter from the Ombudsman, noting that Kenya Railways has not complied with Okoa Mombasa's ATI request, and demanding compliance.
17/04/2020Kenya RailwaysFull letterLetter from Kenya Railways to the Ombudsman, explaining why they will not disclose the records that Okoa Mombasa seeks.
06/05/2020Office of the OmbudsmanFull letterLetter from the Ombudsman, forwarding Kenya Railways' letter of 17 April 2020 to Okoa Mombasa
28/05/2020Okoa MombasaFull requestOkoa Mombasa resends its original ATI request to the Solicitor General, as directed in a letter from Kenya Railways.
28/08/2020Office of the Attorney GeneralFull letterClaims their office does not have the documents requested (despite Kenya Railways statement to the contrary on 17/4/2020). Further notes that even if they did have the documents, they could not release due to "nondisclosure agreements" that might lead to "serious legal and financial repercussions."
13/05/2021Okoa MombasaFull requestAdditional request for the same documents, addressed to the National Treasury.
Share This