Uhuru honours SGR diplomats, builders

The Kenyan government has decorated Chinese diplomats and contractors involved in the building of the standard gauge railway.

In a special gazette notice last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta honoured three Chinese ambassadors to Kenya and heads of the China Road and Bridge Corporation, the company that constructed the 472-kilometre railway from Mombasa to Nairobi.

The Sh327 billion SGR is expected to transform transport in Kenya.

In the notice published in the May 30 Kenya Gazette, President Kenyatta said he was awarding the Chinese the Third Class Moran Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) “in recognition of the distinguished and outstanding services rendered to the nation in various capacities and responsibilities”.

Among those honoured was Mr Zhang Ming, the vice-minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr Zhang was Beijing’s envoy to Nairobi from 2006 to 2009 and oversaw the initial SGR talks.

His successor, Mr Liu Guangyuan, was also decorated with the third class MBS on Madaraka Day. 

Mr Liu was China’s ambassador to Kenya from 2010 to 2014 and was part of the team that organised President Kenyatta’s first state visit to Beijing, in August 2013.

His successor and namesake, Mr Liu Xianfa, was also decorated.

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