Motorists to Sue Government Over Kes.470 Billion Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway Deal

June 3, 2024

The Motorists Association of Kenya (MAK) has threatened to sue the government over the recent signing of a contract to transform the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway into a privately run toll road.

In a statement on Sunday, June 2, the association accused the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) of agreeing to the deal with US-based private equity firm Everstrong Capital LLC without conducting public participation.

“We are going to sue the American company and KeNHA for signing a contract to convert the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway into a privately-run Toll Road without public participation,” MAK declared in their statement.

The association argued that KeNHA could have expanded the highway with additional lanes instead of insisting on toll roads.

“We pay half the cost of fuel as tax; KeNHA is just not patriotic. They prioritize the interests of foreigners over our sovereignty,” MAK asserted.

MAK further stated that it is preferable to obtain straightforward loans rather than entrusting projects to private companies, which they allege exploit motorists through toll fees.

A week ago, Kenya inked a Project Development Agreement (PDA) with Everstrong Capital LLC to construct the long-awaited Usahihi Expressway, which has been delayed since 2019 due to funding challenges.

The deal, signed in Washington DC on May 23 between Everstrong and KeNHA, grants the equity firm and its partners full development rights for what is touted as “Africa’s largest toll road project”.

The 440km Usahihi Expressway is estimated to cost $3.6 billion (approx.Kes.470,000,000,000).

“The project anticipates attracting investments totaling $3.6 billion, sourced from international investors, development agencies, pension funds, and an exceptionally large number of Kenyan private investors,” Everstrong stated.

According to Everstrong Capital, the expressway is structured as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with revenue derived from road users.

The high-speed road is expected to have 4-6 dual carriage lanes.

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