In a move expected to steer the completion of the third phase of the standard gauge railway, Kenya is negotiating a 370 billion loan from China.

The loan, according to the Kenya Railways Acting Director Philip Mahinga, is will guarantee the railway, the passengers and their goods through the 974-kilometre stretch from Mombasa to Malaba.

Speaking at the multi-billion negotiation meeting convened at the Chinese embassy in Nairobi, the country’s Chargé d’affaires Li Xuhang said the amount would be in form of concessional and hard loans.

“We all know that the first phase of SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi cost Sh327 billion and the second phase Sh150 billion. For phase 2B, negotiations between the two governments are on so I will not give any figure at the moment,” Mr Mahinga said.

This move comes at a time when Kenyans, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and experts continue to raise questions over the repayment of the already existing loans.

The terms under which the loans are secured have been brought to question especially after it emerged that the Port of Mombasa could soon be handed over to the Chinese government if the past loans are defaulted.