By Halma Charo
Will the parliamentary investment committee (PIC) succeed to unravel truths in the secretive agreements between Kenya and China on SGR?
That’s the question that lingers, as, for the second time in two years, public pressure mounts for truth to be told about the details of the agreements that observers feel are not only skewed in favour the Chinese, but also threatens the port as a national asset.
The PIC now wants the former Kenya Ports Authority [KPA] Managing Director Gichiri Ndua to appear before it to shed more light on the controversial standard gauge railway [SGR] project agreements with KPA.
Committee chairman Abdullswamad Nassir said his committee has also summoned former general manager for board and legal services Muthoni Gatere.
The PIC boss says the two reportedly appended their signatures for the government to acquire loans in an agreement with China Exim Bank for the commencement of the project.
“The two former KPA employees must appear before the committee to shed light on how they appended their signatures,” he pointed out.
Nassir added the committee wants to know how they appended their signatures and whether it was under duress or not.
He made the remarks when KPA acting Managing Director Amb John Mwangemi appeared before the committee to answer an audit query on ports projects held at English Point Marina in Mombasa.
The committee chairman said they will also summon Transport Cabinet Secretary James Wainaina Macharia as KPA was under his docket.
Nassir pointed out the preferential credit loan agreement of May 2014 amounting to Sh 161.6 billion and buyer credit loan agreement on the same date for Sh 202.36 billion came to Sh 363.96 billion.
He argued the information at the committee’s disposal obtained from subsidiary agreements and the actual loan agreements are not available for audit review.
“From the execution of the agreements the lender [China Exim Bank] entered into subsidiary agreements to secure the loan repayments by the government who doubled up as borrower,” he pointed out.
The committee added one of the agreements is for long term service between KRC and KPA both being state corporations.
Nassir disclosed it was in respect to delivery and movement of freight to the Embakasi inland container depot using the standard gauge railway in 2014.
He pointed out payment arrangements in the agreement referred to two loans for the Mombasa to Nairobi SGR project in 2014 between the foreign bank and the government and KRC and KPA.
“It was an Escrow account agreement,” he pointed out.
The chair sentiments were echoed by his fellow members who included Mishi Mboko Mp for likoni, Paul Katana Mp for Kaloleni,Teddy Mwambire Mp for Ganze,Budalangi Mp Raphael Wanjala and Kuria West Mp Mathias Robi.