NASA flagbearer Raila Odinga has warned that blocking Governor Hassan Joho during the SGR launch was unacceptable.
He said he will deal with people who fleeced taxpayers in the project if elected.
The opposition chief said the project was initiated by the grand coalition government and funded by taxpayers to enhance movement of people and commodities across the region.
“Joho is the one who was supposed to welcome Uhuru in Mombasa since he is a taxpayer and the head of the county government. It is unacceptable,” Raila said.
The ODM leader promised to deal with leaders who have inflated costs to pocket kickbacks.
“We cannot blame the Chinese for the higher costs and, in fact, we congratulate them for carrying out the job. We know people who took advantage and they will face it rough after we win the coming election,” he said.
Raila said he knew the Mombasa governor would behave responsibly if given a chance to attend the launch event.
“It is very unfortunate that a Kenyan should be barred from attending the function, since it’s Kenyans who are going to use the railway,” he said.
Raila warned President Uhuru Kenyatta against using the project to gain support for the August 8 General Election.
The ODM leader said the project has cost Kenyans billions of shillings, money which would have been channelled to other sectors of the economy to boost the growth of the nation.
“Some amount ended in people’s pockets and would have served Kenyans,” Raila said. He said the grand coalition negotiated the project with the Chinese government.
Raila welcomed the ‘Madaraka Express’ services and thanked the Chinese government for agreeing to work with Kenya on development projects meant to improve the lives of Kenyans.
On Tuesday, Uhuru told Joho to back off Jubilee projects and focus on his mandate as county boss. Uhuru asked the governor to concentrate on justifying his reelection to residents. But Joho accused the President of “oiling the wheels of corruption at the expense of service delivery”.
The governor, a fierce critic of the Jubilee government, was also barred from the Mtongwe Ferry Services relaunch in March. He was surrounded by heavily armed police officers at Nyali Bridge. There were allegations Uhuru ordered his arrest.
Raila was speaking yesterday at Orange House after a meeting with 22 former officials of the defunct TNA party from the Nakuru county.
The event was coordinated by former Subukia MP Koigi wa Wamwere. The delegation told the former Prime Minister they felt betrayed by their leaders who abandoned their original ideals of TNA and are looting the country instead.