President Kenyatta has launched passenger train service on the Standard Gauge Railway with a stern warning to vandals.
The president said on Wednesday said he would commission the execution of people convicted of vandalising the railway and sabotaging the economy.
His warning shot followed the vandalism of a section of the railway in Mariakani that almost delayed the launch of the Sh327 billion project.
Meanwhile, Mr Kenyatta directed Kenya Railways to charge passengers travelling between Nairobi and Mombasa Sh700 on the economy class.
Cargo charges will not exceed Sh50,000 per container, he said.
Kenya Railways had initially announced a Sh900 fare for the economy class and Sh3,000 for the business class.
The launch of the SGR train was attended by top Chinese and Kenya government officials.
The President and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, along with other government officials, diplomats and other Kenyans from all walks of life, are expected to ride on the train from Mombasa to Nairobi in an inaugural trip.
The railway is a flagship project of President Kenyatta’s administration.
On Tuesday, Mr Kenyatta flagged off a cargo train at the Mombasa port’s second container terminal in a colourful ceremony attended by officials from China Communications Construction Company and Exim Bank.
“This is a historic moment we are witnessing today because this project will transform the economy of this country and all Kenyans,” he said.
China provided loans that were used to construct the railway, a Vision 2030 flagship project, and its companies built the line and supplied locomotives.
©Alleastafrica and Daily Nation