Coast residents against privatisation of KPA

Written By: Hunja Macharia
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A Coast based lobby group has warned the Government against the proposed privatisation of the Kenya ports Authority saying it renders thousands of employees jobless.

They have now urged the Government to consult residents from the region on the same saying they will not support the proposal at all unless their concerns are addressed.

The Taireni Amidzichenda group said transferring the Inland Container Deport to Nairobi and setting up the Dry port in Naivasha will kill the regions’ economy.

Members of the lobby group said the forceful removal of former KPA managing director Catherine Muturi was orchestrated by cartels to deny the coastal people their rights to manage their resources.

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Addressing a press conference in Kilifi town they said the region’s economy is at risk as most of the developments and businesses associated to the port shall be meaningless in the near future.

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Peter Ponda the vice Chairman of Taireni Amidzichenda group said the former MD was removed as she was opposed to the cartels that were behind the privatization of the port.

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He wondered why she had to be ousted unceremoniously despite contributing to the growth of the Port during her tenure.

“Muturi stood against those who were planning to privatize the port, KPA is now being taken away,’’ he said.

Ponda said there are reports that Bandari College is being moved to Kenya maritime Authority while plans are underway to retrench workers.

He wondered why Coast legislators were silent on the issue despite yet they are fully aware of the plans.

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Humphrey Tsuma said Mombasa has grown to its status economically because of KPA and should therefore be allowed to manage its resource.

Since cargo handling was shifted to Nairobi he said the workforce has now reduced meaning hundreds of youths are now jobless.

“There are people who have invested heavily in Mombasa because of the port, shifting all functions to Nairobi people will lose business , services, clearing and forwarding , transportation of goods  will not be there because of SGR,’’ he said.

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