Journalists lament the collapse of (EAR&H)

Media Council of Kenya CEO Victor Bwire

The Secretary-General of the Union of Uganda Journalists Stephen Ouma praised Kenya for preserving post-colonial railway assets including the Ngara estate where he spent some of his formative years in the 1960s

By The Weekly Vision Online

Journalists from Africa who are currently attending a three-day media workshop in Nairobi expressed regret at the collapse of the original East African Railways and Harbours Union. The East African Railways and Harbours Corporation operated railways and harbours in East Africa until 1977 when it collapsed.

It was formed in 1948 by merging the Kenya and Uganda Railways and Harbours with the Tanganyika Railway of the Tanganyika. In 1977 the rail network was broken up into three national railways: Kenya Railways Corporation, Tanzania Railways Corporation and Uganda Railways Corporation.

Attendees at the workshop however praised successive Kenya administrations for preserving critical landmarks based in Nairobi, Nanyuki, Nyeri, Naivasha, Kisumu and Malaba. The journalists noted that Kenya had maintained critical aspects of the regional railway network from Mombasa to Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru to Kisumu and Malaba. Other landmarks that were preserved include the Railway Training School (RTS), its main workshop in Landimawe, and residential houses around the city suburbs. RTS was a household name for many railway staff deployed across East and Central Africa.

The government of President Yoweri Museveni recently demolished an old historical railway residential estate landmark in Nsambya some 2kms south of Kampala. Nsambya estate was home to many Kenyans who worked in Uganda at the time

Secretary-General of the Union of Uganda Journalists Stephen Ouma praised Kenya for preserving post-colonial railway assets including the Ngara estate where he spent some of his formative years in the 1960s. Kenya preserved its extensive railway staff houses in Ngara, Woodley, Mbotela, Kaloleni, Shauri Moyo and Pangani. But Uganda has demolished most of its structures with little remaining of the original railway structures.

The government of President Yoweri Museveni recently demolished an old historical railway residential estate landmark in Nsambya some 2kms south of Kampala. Nsambya estate was home to many Kenyans who worked in Uganda at the time, they raised families with some of their children become big names in many sectors of life including sports.

They include one of East Africa’s light fly boxing sensations of the 1970’s James Odwori. Others are Okoth Odhiambo a light heavyweight boxer with a deadly right punch now a coach at the Kenya Ports Authority in Mombasa. Others were light heavyweight national boxer Mathias Ouma, 1974 400 meters gold medalist John Aki Bua, and national football striker Polly Ouma.

The workshop was hosted by the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), and the Media Council of Kenya in partnership with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Media council CEO Victor Bwire and KUJ CEO stressed the need for regional trade cooperation.

The IFJ has lately condemned the mysterious killing of journalists including KBC Betty Barasa whose murder remains unresolved.

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