Rail services to Uganda under threat as former RVR staff in Kenya refuse to go back to work


(Posted 11th September 2017)

If Kenya Railways is indeed on track as their logo suggests, only time will tell as the company continues to be embroiled in a labour dispute with the former RVR staff, which going by a court order was to be taken on by the national rail operator after the cancellation of the rail concession.
With the workers, more than 2.500 of them, continuing to stay away from work has it become increasingly difficult to keep cargo trains running and the ripple effect is felt all the way to Uganda.
While Uganda Railways has been stumm over their termination of the concession is an ongoing work boycott by the former RVR workers in Kenya not helping to have cargo trains reach Uganda, leaving bulk cargo clients in Kampala pondering how to get their deliveries from the port of Mombasa.
Already has an increase in trucks crossing the border between Kenya and Uganda been witnessed, likely prompted by the lack of trains but of course increasing the cost of delivery which is a multiple of what rail transport bills were for importers of oil, fuels, steel products and other bulk cargo.
No relief is in sight as of now and the construction of Uganda’s section of the new Standard Gauge Railway has yet to commence as has the section between Nairobi and the border, stretching completion of the new line towards the end of the decade if not beyond.

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