RVR Heavy Duty Railway Wagons Arrive in Mombasa

President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that he at one point rejected money from the former self-styled Libyan President, this Col. Muammar Gaddafi who even extended his financial generosity to the world’s richest continent of Europe.

Museveni who was an open friend of Col. Gaddafi until his death in October 2011, made the revelation on Monday while addressing a campaign rally in Kumi Municipality.

The president said money has never been his biggest problem in life, adding that genuine reasons should be found to acquire and make good use of money.

The National Resistance Movement presidential candidate told hundreds of supporters that at the beginning of the NRA struggle, Gaddafi was among the people he reached out to him with help.

He narrated that when he finally met Gaddafi, the former Libyan strongman asked to offer him money and other valuables but he turned him down.

“Ever since I was young, money has never been my first priority. It’s good and an accelerator of many things. To me the things that usher in good conditions for making money and its consolidation are my number one priority,” Museveni said.

“At the beginning of the struggle whose fruits we are seeing today, I visited Gaddafi and he asked me if I wanted money but I refused,” he said.

“The man started wondering what I was up to since he had mentioned all that any human being would ordinarily fall for. I finally told him my single need. I told him that all I wanted was guns.”

Museveni observed that the guns he got from Gaddafi and other sources are what have made everything possible in Uganda.

During his rule in the low populated but rich oil country, Gaddafi injected millions of dollars in many foreign projects and programs including funding about 70 percent of African Union budget.
In a development that will eventually see Rift Valley Railways increase its current haulage capacity by 50 percent, order the first 120 of 480 heavy-duty railway wagons purchased by the company have arrived in Kenya.

Each of the high capacity wagons which were built by the China CNR Corporation has the capacity to transport 60 tons per trip meaning RVR will significantly increase on its current 40 ton load capacity per wagon.

Wagons being offloaded at Mombasa port

Wagons being offloaded at Mombasa port

Announcing the development at a ceremony held to commission and flag off the wagons in Mombasa, Carlos de Andrade RVR’s group CEO said their arrival will be a game changer for the company.

“So far we have been limited as regards the volume of freight we are able to move because of the size and quality of the wagons we inherited, many of which were built more than 30 years ago. For the first time since we took over the concession RVR will be deploying wagons that are purpose built for modern rail transport operations, both in terms of capacity and their condition,” he said.

“Crucially the new wagons are a lot more cost effective per trip which means we will be able to reduce our freight charges considerably and become a lot more competitive than the roads which are already overburdened with traffic,” he added.

“We are confident once the new wagons are put into service along with the 20 GE locomotives that recently arrived we will enable us to increase the volume of business we are handling at the port and eventually allow us to fully utilize the newly opened inland container port in Mukono which has the capacity to handle 1,644 units at any time and 36,500 per year containers a year and is expected to play a major role in our business growth,” the group CEO said.

Speaking about the impact the new wagons are expected to have on transport and infrastructure on the northern corridor RVR’s General Manager, Concession & External Communications, Mr. Sammy Gachuhi said the additional capacity means the railway is now positioned to even surpass the impressive freight volumes numbers achieved last year.

RVR had by January 31, 2015 moved 1,883 mn NTK of freight against a target of 1,737 mn NTK by March 31, 2015 in Kenya. The corresponding figures for Uganda were 250mn NTK of freight moved as at February 25, 2015 against a target of 250 mn NTK by March 31, 2015.

RVR is currently at the midpoint of a US$ 287 million capital expenditure program that began in January 2012 to revitalize the railway. Since the start of the renewal program, RVR has invested US$ 126 million in modern rail operating technology, rebuilding infrastructure, expanding haulage capacity and developing modern rail operating skills in its 2,400 strong workforce.

RVR has also completed the rehabilitation of the most damaged sections of the railway track between Mombasa and Nairobi and rehabilitated and reopened the 500 km railway from Tororo to Gulu in northern Uganda after a 20-year hiatus.

Installation of satellite tracking and GPS-based technology on all trains helped cut cargo transit times between Mombasa and Nairobi by six hours.


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