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Chinese official claims:

'China won't seize Mombasa Port over SGR loan'

A Chinese government official has said that China, even if Kenya defaults on repayment of the SGR loan, will not seize Mombasa Port. Wu Peng, the director-general of the Department of African Affairs in the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the Mombasa port will remain a Kenyan asset no matter what.

“I can tell you very clearly, even if you default on the SGR loan, Mombasa port is still Kenya’s port. We cannot seize the Mombasa port according to the SGR agreements,” he said on Monday. The Standard Gauge Railway was built at a cost of $3.6 billion (Sh429 billion) by the China Roads and Bridge Company and it is Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project.

Critics of outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta have been lobbying to have the agreements signed between the government and the Chinese entities made public. Despite a court order, the government is still refusing to make public the loan contracts.

Peng said there is nothing sinister in the contract and China did not and cannot cheat the Kenyan people. The diplomat said he is confident that the SGR can now repay the loan without straining the Kenyan taxpayers.


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