How plan to privatise railways became Kenya’s public sector reform nightmare

The flag-off ceremony of the new Rift Valley Railways in 2006, which has turned out to be Kenya’s biggest nightmare in its privatisation bid.
Photo/FREDRICK ONYANGO

What you need to know:

  • Desire to save face traunched the reality that Kenya and Uganda were handing over a national asset in a fundamentally flawed deal

After Mr Roy Puffet ambushed Kenyan and Ugandan government officials with the dramatic revelation that he did not have the $5 million (about Sh400 million) they were expecting — and that a day before they signed a contract that would hand him the running of the Kenya-Uganda railway for 25 years — the transaction team took what had become a standard operating procedure: just bend the rules for the guy.

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