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CS, officials skip event after SGR scam claims

Wednesday February 26 2020

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PETER MBURU
By PETER MBURU
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Top Transport ministry officials yesterday dodged an event where they would have been asked questions on the newest scandal in which Kenyans allegedly lost billions of shillings.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, Kenya Railways Corporation MD Philip Mainga and the entire KRC board failed to show up at the function as more questions arose on the openness of the ministry and the State corporation to the public on how they spent billions of taxpayers' money.

Mr Macharia had been invited and confirmed he would attend the commemoration event marking 1,000 days of the standard gauge railway but, after the Nation revealed yesterday shocking details of how taxpayers lost billions in exaggerated payments, he was a no-show.

WILFULLY ABSCONDED

Instead, a junior official — Duncan Hunda, the head of railways and Lappset at the State department of Transport — represented the CS. But Mr Hunda did not deliver Mr Macharia’s speech and some minutes after the event started, he vanished, as speakers continued to address the function.

Speeches and programme documents indicated that apart from Mr Macharia, Mr Mainga and the KRC board of directors were scheduled to attend, but none of them did.

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As the Nation sought to find out why, indications from some members of staff were that they had wilfully stayed away from the event because of the Nation exposé.

“No one would come. They are currently in a crisis meeting,” a staff member told the Nation.

For his part, Mr Mainga delegated his role to Human Resources Manager Asava Kadima, who delivered his speech.

“In the master plan, we envisioned a cost-effective and world-class infrastructure that would play a critical role in the improvement of national competitiveness and the quality of life of Kenyans. We attained the type of infrastructure that can help us meet the objective,” he said in the speech.