In an embarrassing moment for the ruling party in Kenya, just two weeks after an “inspection” by President Uhuru Kenyatta, a $12 million Chinese-built Sigiri bridge in Western Kenya collapsed before it was completed.
The bridge was under the contract of Chinese Overseas Construction and Engineering Company in Busia County, the bridge connects a region that has historically lacked government investment and development.
Earlier, President Uhuru Kenyatta inspected the bridge and in his tweet he said “Sigiri bridge will significantly reduce deaths and make it easier for the residents to access markets, schools and hospitals.”, he also said, “Upon completion, the bridge will transform the socio-economic lives of the people in the area.”
The Kenyan government has relied heavily on Chinese-built and Chinese-financed projects to achieve the president’s infrastructure campaign promises.
The president launched the Madaraka Express, the country’s largest investment since independence. The $3.8 billion railway, financed by China’s Eximbank, travels from the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi, and is planned to cross Kenya and connect it to several other east African Countries.
The incident has been strongly criticized by the Kenyan opposition party, they have blamed the president for rushing the infrastructure project with the elections in mind.