A cross-section of Coast leaders have been criticised for boycotting William Ruto’s function of commissioning 11 cranes imported by the board of directors using saving and profits from the Kenya Ports Authority to enable the facility to improve efficiency.
Although the function was specifically meant for port users and stakeholders, the national chairman of the Association of Importers of Kenya Peter Mambembe said the presence of the governors, MPs, women reps and members of the county assembly from the region was crucial.
Mambembe said the port of Mombasa which is a sensitive facility is being managed without a chairman of the board of directors adding that it would have been important for the elected leaders to attend the function and take the deputy president head-on on the matter and others which are scaring away investors.
He said the Port of Mombasa first container terminal is being privatised and bids have already been opened in the absence of the chairman of the board of directors, a move which is unconstitutional and against the regulations of the Kenya Ports Authority Corporation Act.
He said it was the responsibility of elected leaders to query why the port facility is being privatised without following due process as no bill has been approved or passed by the National Assembly and the Senate to regulate and allow a private operator to undertake business in the facility.
He noted that the parliamentary committee on transport and infrastructure is composed of members of parliament who had little knowledge to understand the intricacies and operations of the port and only rubberstamped the importation of illegally procured crane tyres.
Mambembe said the money could have been used to hire job seekers instead of buying cranes at a time when the port is going to be in the hands of private operators and the fact that berths No 1 to 10 and transit sheds No BP1 to BP3 inside the port facility were illegally privatised many years ago to cartels using Kenya Ports Authority licence.
He accused Transport cabinet secretary and his team of running the port like a private property and urged the president to appoint a chairman with a new board of directors that will be able to bring reforms and rejuvenate the port facility from its lost glory.
He urged the director of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Mumo Matemo to investigate the alleged port cranes scandal because due process was not followed as there was no public participation and the cabinet never sanctioned the purchase of the equipments by board.
He further noted that the cranes cost the taxpayers billions of shillings and the government should move with speed to investigate the scandal which is another Anglo Leasing and those involved must face the full force of the law.
He urged the president to dissolve the board of directors of Kenya Ports Authority and appoint new faces and avoid recycling old and same people in his government
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