MISLEADING ARTICLE

State refutes claims Uhuru headed to France to sign Sh180bn loan deal

Waita says public private partnership project cannot be said to be a loan deal.

In Summary

• Chief of Staff in the Office of The President Nzioka Waita on Tuesday said such reports are 'misleading' and 'full of lies'.

• Waita was responding to a story by the Daily Nation which said Uhuru will leave the country on Wednesday to sign a Sh180 billion deal.

French President Emanuel Macron is greeted by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on March 13, 2019.
French President Emanuel Macron is greeted by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on March 13, 2019.
Image: REUTERS

The government has refuted claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta is headed to France to sign a loan deal.

Chief of Staff in the Office of The President Nzioka Waita on Tuesday said such reports are 'misleading' and 'full of lies'.

Waita was responding to a story by the Daily Nation which said Uhuru will leave the country on Wednesday for the Sh180 billion loan deal.

 

According to the Daily Nation, the money would be used for the dualling of the 190-kilometre Rironi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Road. 

The article said Kenya’s signing of the tolling concession pact with a consortium of French firms under Rift Valley Connect led by Meridiam Infrastructure Africa Fund will unlock the funding of the road, which once complete will be the country’s first toll highway outside Nairobi.

But Waita hit back saying, "How does a Public-Private Partnership become a loan? Your story is an outright lie".

Waita said the Nakuru-Mau Summit Super Highway will be a  toll road given to a concessionaire to finance, build and operate.

He said through the Toll Fund recently enacted by the National Assembly the government will guarantee the availability of traffic.

"The combined effect of expanding Waiyaki Way from James Gichuru - Rironi and the new toll road from Rironi - Mau Summit will completely transform the economies of counties along the route," he said.

He added, "Later the planned Mau Summit - Malaba expansion will complete the corridor to western Kenya".

 

The road once complete will be a key segment of the Northern Corridor which will significantly cut travel time for both people and goods, reducing the cost of doing business.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) last year awarded the construction tender to a French firm Meridiam International, with others in the consortium including Vinci Highways SAS and Vinci Concessions SA.

The project is expected to be undertaken on a PPP basis that will see the consortium raise finances for the road, design, construct, maintain and operate the road on pre-agreed standards and specifications.