Ruto: I will make public SGR contract, deport illegal Chinese nationals

Deputy-President William Ruto.

Deputy-President William Ruto looks on during the launch of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance manifesto at the Kasarani gymnasium, Nairobi on June 30, 2022.

Photo credit: Simon Maina | AFP

Deputy President William Ruto has vowed to make public all contracts with Chinese government, including the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) should he win the August 9 polls.

Speaking to Reuters, Dr Ruto also said his administration will deport Chinese nationals working illegally.

Dr Ruto’s sentiments comes amidst activist push to have the contracts, and especially the SGR made public.

Dr Ruto also vowed to slash government borrowing that has funded his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta's infrastructure projects.

"Kenya has the capacity to handle its debt situation. I do not intend to re-organise the debts should I win,” he said

In May, High Court has ordered the government to provide two activists with agreements relating to the construction of the Sh450 billion SGR line project.

Sitting in Mombasa, Justice John Mativo further issued an order declaring that failure by Attorney-General, Transport and National Treasury Principal Secretaries to provide the information sought is a violation of the right to access to information.

Activists Khelef Khalifa and Ms Wanjiru Gikonyo sought to have all contracts, agreements and studies related to the construction and operations of the SGR made public. They argued that keeping the documents confidential violates the law and discourages transparency in governance.

Transport Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge, in his affidavit filed in court, had said that agreements entered between the government and Chinese contractors over the construction of the SGR had non-disclosure clauses.

Dr Njoroge further said that it would be in breach of contractual terms of the agreements if the two activists are supplied with the disclosure of documents related to the construction of the SGR line project.

“Upon receipt of request for information from the petitioners, Kenya Railways Corporation explained that the contracts of the projects to which information is being requested are between the governments of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Kenya,” said Dr Njoroge.

Dr Njoroge said that if the orders sought were granted, it would injure relations between Kenya and China and would stifle successful implementation of the National Transport Policy.

Attorney General Kihara Kariuki wanted the petition thrown out saying Ms Gikonyo and Khalifa had not exhausted all me