In a rare show of unity, officials of the giant Dockworkers Union have said that they are not ready to sit back and watch as the operations of the port of Mombasa are handed over to a few private investors in the country. DWU general secretary Simon Sang demanded that Kenya Ports Authority cancels a tender awarded to a firm associated with a Mombasa legislator. Sang pointed out that it is a conflict of interest to allow a lawmaker who chaired a national assembly watchdog committee to invest at the port of Mombasa. He pointed out the same firm associated with the Mombasa legislator Abdulswamad Nassir was awarded a tender to conduct verification of goods and cargo at the inland container depot in Nairobi.
Sang said the firm has a contract to hire labour at the port of Mombasa, the Nairobi ICD and at the Lamu port. The deal was brokered by the influential Joho family that does massive business at KPA. Of late, Nassir is one of the local MPs fully backing Joho in his war against Covid-19. Sang who was accompanied by union chairman Mohamed Sheria told journalists they have already been taken for a ride in respect to the current constitution and environment. Weekly Citizen has further established that the operations at one of the berths within the port have already been privatised and the tender given to a politically correct individual in the county. The loading and offloading of imported fertiliser at berth numbers 4 and 7 has already been awarded to tycoon Mohammed Jaffer.
Jaffer has come up with structures to centralise imported fertiliser at one place at the port. Sang cautioned the government they will not agree 75 per cent of the port operations to be in the hands of cartels. KPA board is on the spot over the transfer of 75 per cent of operations at the port of Mombasa to private investors. Three companies which won tenders for the operations are alleged to be associated with state operatives. Firms namely Portside Ltd., Grain Bulk Handlers and Mechantile Company Ltd have illegally acquired the port’s public resources.