Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has come clean as to why he dumped Tanzania for Kenya in the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) deal.


In a statement, Museveni revealed that he preferred Kenya for the SGR deal because Tanzania was taking too long to actualize its SGR cross-border plan.

Museveni made the revelation during a meeting with Italian investors who will construct the SGR line on Uganda’s side.

Notably, this was a day after Kenyan Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen revealed that China’s Exim Bank would fund the construction of SGR from Naivasha to the Ugandan border.

“They (Italian investors) shared their interest in funding and constructing a railway line from Tororo to Majanji, along with a port at Majanji,” Museveni spoke of the delegation led by Mauro Massoni, the Ambassador of Italy to Uganda.

Appreciating the investment, Museveni remarked that it would facilitate trade from Northern Uganda and neighboring countries.

“We are commencing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway from the Kenyan border to Kampala. The construction of the railway from Tanzania will take time,” Museveni added.

Tanzania while lagging behind in SGR connecting Uganda has accelerated national connectivity.

Using funding from China and Turkey, Tanzania is constructing a 1,600-kilometre SGR line connecting Dar es Salaam and Mwanza.

Ruto and Museveni have a tentative agreement that will see SGR transverse from Mombasa through Kampala to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Once completed, the line will facilitate trade between Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and DRC.

While China will loan Kenya most of the funding needed for the construction of the Naivasha to Ugandan border stretch, Kenyan taxpayers will still be required to foot part of the total sum.

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