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Midiwo in trouble for calling SGR project a 'cash cow"

26 June 2015, 16:53 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader, Jakoyo Midiwo found himself in trouble for terming the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project a “cash cow” for Jubilee Government.

Midiwo claimed taxpayers are incurring huge costs on the project due to hiked procurement prices of construction material to benefit a few individuals in the government.

“SGR is Jubilee government’s cash cow because it is costing taxpayers three times compared to other regional countries such as Ethiopia,” said Jakoyo during the Thursday House debate session.

However, his sentiments angered the Jubilee MPs who then asked the House deputy Speaker, Joyce Laboso for Midiwo to substantiate the claims or else withdraw and apologize.

“Madam Speaker, the Minority Leader is making some serious unsubstantiated claims that the SGR project is the government’s cash cow. Can he explain what he means before this House?” demanded Igembe North MP, Joseph M'eruaki.

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Jakoyo responded in mockery saying, “A cash cow is a cow that when you give it cash, it gives you cash instead of milk like the Jubilee’s SGR.”

House Majority Leader, Aden Duale hit back at Midiwo accusing him and the opposition of disdaining the government’s projects.

“Madam Speaker, my colleague Jakoyo Midiwo cannot make such serious accusations without documents to prove. He should substantiate how the SGR project meant to benefit our economy is the government’s cash cow,” insisted Duale.

The ODM chairman, John Mbadi who is also the Suba MP rose in defense of Midiwo and said the suspended Transport Cabinet Secretary, Michael Kamau was made the sacrificial lamb in the “cash cow SGR project” because in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) list of shame he was accused of awarding tenders irregularly.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta came in this House and handed over the EACC graft list. Among case files the suspended Transport Cabinet Secretary, Eng. Michael Kamau was implicated in is irregular awarding of procurement to companies. There is no doubt the President was telling us that SGR is a cash cow,” said Mbadi.

When the Jubilee MPs further maintained that Midiwo should apologize and withdraw his unproven claims since Mbadi’s explanation was unjustifiable. The defiant deputy Minority Leader declined their plea but instead promised to present documented evidence in the House Tuesday next week.

However, Laboso accepted Midiwo’s pledge but warned that he will have to apologize and withdraw his remarks if he fails to provide the documents.

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