26 February 2014 | Will Green

There was no breach of procurement rules in the deal behind a planned new railway connecting Nairobi and the port of Mombasa, the Kenyan parliament has been told.

National Assembly’s (NA) member Maina Kamanda, chairman of the Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, which has completed a report on the project, was responding to the question of why the provision of rolling stock had been single sourced.

The Mombasa-Nairobi Single Gauge Railway project, involving a deal between the Kenya Railways Corporation and the China Road and Bridge Corporation, has proved controversial and Transparency International Kenya has written to the transport secretary requesting all information on the contract “for the purpose of forming an independent opinion on the integrity of the procurement process of awarding the contract”.

Kamanda told NA members because the scheme was a “government to government project, which is to be funded by a negotiated loan, it was therefore exempted from the application of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act”.

“The committee found that the procurement entity acted within the law on the single sourcing of the rolling stock and the work of the tender for the China Road and Bridge Corporation,” he said.

Kamanda said the committee found no “illegality or irregularity in the procurement of this project”.

He added: “The government of Kenya should fast-track the signing of the financial agreement between Kenya and the government of the People’s Republic of China to enable the commencement of that project.”

The matter is also the subject of a separate inquiry by the Public Investments Committee.