Museveni to ride on SGR today

SGR praised as a 'game changing project' that will reduce delays of cargo at the port

In Summary

•Presidents Kenyatta and Museveni will ride to Nairobi today after a tour of Mombasa port.

•Uhuru encourages Ugandans to join in the development of SGR to ensure the line continues to Kampala.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni arriving at the airport yesterday
TRAIN TO NAIROBI: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni arriving at the airport yesterday
Image: PSCU

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will today become the first visiting head of state to ride on the SGR.

Museveni and his host Uhuru Kenyatta will leave Mombasa for Nairobi at 3.15pm.

The Ugandan leader's tour of Mombasa port was part of his two-day state visit to coastal city.

“We invite Uganda to join us and join the continued development of the SGR to ensure that the line continues to Kampala as was originally envisioned,” Uhuru said yesterday.

He spoke at Mombasa State House after bilateral talks between Kenyan and Ugandan delegations. 

Uhuru said Lake Victoria is an important trans-boundary resource, crucial not just for Kenyan and Ugandan livelihoods but also to the entire East African economy.

He commended Uganda for its efforts in removing water hyacinth from the lake. The invasive weed is a menace to fishermen.

Museveni welcomed the SGR as a game changer that was addressing the perennial problem of cargo delays in Mombasa. He said President Kenyatta’s administration has made great strides to reduce delays of Ugandan cargo at the port.

The SGR has significantly reduced the time taken to move goods and passengers from Mombasa to Nairobi.

“Before his (Uhuru) time, some of the people in the port thought they were doing Uganda a favour by handling our goods not knowing they were sabotaging Uganda. But they were sabotaging Kenya too,” Museveni said.

He said efficient handling of cargo at the port is good for the economy of Kenya and the hinterland countries.

“The more business we do the better for all of us,” he said.

The Ugandan President said he was greatly honoured to be the first visiting head of state to enjoy the SGR ride.

“You have given me the honour to be the first President to ride in SGR. I will put it (photos) in my album and I will show all Ugandans,” he said, adding that once the SGR is completed, it will take 24 hours to travel or move goods from Mombasa to Kampala.

At the moment it takes two days.

Museveni said the East African Community will only grow if the problem of movement is solved.

It is suicidal to think that it is a favour to businesspeople to facilitate fast and easy movement of goods and services across borders, he said. 

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