The Ugandan government has dismissed reports of suspending the construction of a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line connecting the country with Kenya.
Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Azuba, said the country will not backtrack on the venture to connect the region through the railway line.
Monica Azuba, who was speaking to the press in Kisumu when she paid a courtesy call at the headquarters of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), said 90 percent of the cargo going to Uganda from Kenya is through the road which is relatively slower.
“I want to refute this in strong terms, Uganda is very much on track with the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). The SGR is very important to our country… it is really to cut down the travel time for our cargo between Mombasa and Kampala,” said the minister.
She further stated that the actual construction of the railway had not yet started but the process is at an advanced stage delayed only by failure to sign the deal with the financier on time.
“We have not started on the actual construction but we have done everything to be ready to start on the construction; we have a contractor, consultant, and the financing mode in place,” she added.
This comes after Uganda’s Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, said the Uganda government had put on hold the SGR venture and had instead turned attention to revamping the old metre-gauge railway network.
“It is apparent the SGR is going to take us a lot of time to complete. First, we have to wait for Kenya to reach at the Malaba [border] point then we can start,” Mr Kasaija told the Daily Monitor Monday.