Okoa Mombasa has published three as-yet unreleased contracts related to the construction of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
The contracts, which date from 2012 to 2013, were executed by the Kenyan government, the China Road and Bridge Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of China. They have never before been released to the public in full. They are available in searchable PDF format at the following links:
- EPC Turnkey Commercial Contract between Kenya Railways Corporation and China Road and Bridge Corporation (Construction of the civil works of Mombasa-Nairobi SGR project). Signed July 2012.
- Contract between Kenya Railways Corporation and China Road and Bridge Corporation (for supply and installation of the facilities, locomotives and rolling stock for the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR project). Signed Oct. 2012.
- Memorandum of Understanding on the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR project between the Government of Kenya (represented by the Treasury) and the Export-Import Bank of China. Signed Aug. 2013.
“This release of these SGR contracts is important because Kenyans have a right to know how our taxes are being spent,” said Khelef Khalifa of Okoa Momabsa. “We also have a right to participate in decisions about how our taxes are spent, and to hold our government accountable. We can’t participate if we don’t have adequate information.”
Ministry of Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Onesimus Kipchumba Murkomen released a limited number of SGR financing documents in November 2022, but those documents did not include the three agreements that we are publishing today. We believe that there may be more documents yet to be uncovered.
Okoa Mombasa has been attempting since 2019 to obtain the SGR documents through Access to Information Act requests, but the government has refused, citing confidentiality clauses and issues of national security. In 2021, we filed a petition in the High Court demanding that the government comply with our ATI requests.
In May 2022, the court ruled in our favor and ordered the government to release all contracts, agreements and other documentation related to the construction and operation of the SGR. As of December 2023, the government has yet to comply with that judgment. The documents being released today were provided to us by a third party, not by the government in response to our court case.
The urgency of making the SGR contract documents public was recently underscored by the analysis of former government auditor Bernard Muchere. In a detailed analysis, he alleged massive irregularities and fraud in the SGR financing – including a possible overpayment of Ksh 777 billion.
Khalifa said that the contracts could serve as important evidence in holding officials accountable in court for possible fraud.
For more about our quest to obtain the SGR contracts, see our Show Us The Contracts webpage here.