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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Ruto puts Uhuru’s Sh160 billion road project on hold

Ruto puts Uhuru’s KSh160 billion road project (the Mau Summit highway) on hold throwing contractors into confusion.

The Sh160 billion Mau Summit highway project has been halted by President William Ruto, sending contractors and investors of Kenya’s most expensive road project into a spin.

The construction of the 233-kilometer Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Toll Road, which was originally scheduled to begin in September 2021, was started by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and has been waiting for President Ruto’s assent.

Three French companies announced they were prepared to start construction on the project after receiving funding from the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Sources close to the project, however, claim that the new administration has been coy about the road’s tolling, which they worry could disrupt President Ruto’s Rift Valley neighborhood’s economy.

The French partnership, which consisted of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS, anticipated that by enforcing tolls on the usage of the road, it would recover its investments in 30 years.

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This is the most recent challenge for the project, whose beginning was also postponed by a petition from one of the unsuccessful bidders.

Mau Summit road, which would have been expanded into a four-lane dual carriageway through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, is the main artery from Nairobi to western Kenya and the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The delays on the expansion of the Mau Summit continue a trend where Ruto’s government has been rolling back some of the projects initiated by his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Sources disclosed that one of the major sticky issues has been the absence of an alternative route for motorists who did not want to pay toll fees, as is the case with the Nairobi Expressway.

“During the Naivasha-Nakuru stakeholder meeting, one of the most contentious was finding an alternative route for users who did want to pay for the road,” said the source, who did not want to be named as he is not allowed to speak to the Press.

Also read,

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Raila explains conspicuous absence of Hassan Joho after the election

Council of Governors Anne Waiguru issues 9 demands to Ruto

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