• The rail line, popularly known as the SGR, was one of the Jubilee government's mega projects which were aimed at helping accelerate economic growth.
• The government said it cost $3.2 billion (Sh360 billion); (Sh419. 84 billion at the current exchange rate) that was largely borrowed from the Exim Bank of China in May 2014.
Hman rights defender and Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah now claims the government lied about the actual cost of constructing the Standard Gauge Railway.
The rail line, popularly known as the SGR, was one of the Jubilee government's mega projects which were aimed at helping accelerate economic growth.
The government said then the SGR project was constructed at a cost of $3.2 billion (Sh360 billion); (Sh419. 84 billion at the current exchange rate) that was largely borrowed from the Exim Bank of China in May 2014.
SGR was to operate express cargo haulage from Mombasa to Nairobi and offer passenger services between the two cities with inter-county service stations at Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Voi, Miasenyi and Mariakani.
But in a tweet on Tuesday, Omtatah claimed the government was not open with Kenyans on the project cost.
"Contrary to what we have been told, SGR was fully funded by Kenyans to the tune of Sh900 billion," he said.
"SGR did not cost Sh360 billion, and no money came from China. We want to know why we are “repaying” a loan for which no single cent came to Kenya," he added.
This is not the first time the activist-cum-politician has claimed Kenyans are servicing loans their government never took.
During a radio interview on June 7, Omtatah claimed Kenyans have overpaid the country's debt obligation by more than Sh1 trillion.
"If you look at the figures, Kenya has overpaid its debt, we do not owe anybody anything. We have overpaid our debt by more than a trillion to two trillion shillings," he said during the interview with Spice FM.
When challenged to explain how that's possible, he said figures show that a comparison of Kenya's outstanding debt and what it has been paying over the years shows that there's an overpayment.
"When we pay they don't subtract from what has been borrowed. They keep taking money from the exchequer purportedly to pay the debt then they don't pay," Omtatah claimed.