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Dock workers want all port deals shelved until after poll

3 months ago 51
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Tuesday July 05 2022

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Dock Workers Union Secretary General Simon Sang addressing the Media in Mombasa on July 1, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

Dock workers want all port engagements with private firms to be suspended until after the August polls to give time to be subjected to public participation according to the Constitution.

The Dock Workers Union (DWU) Secretary-General Simon Sang said the increasing interest by private firms to engage the government to own different facilities at the port has increased with the government not involving the public as required by law.

“We are pushing for the passing of the Government Owned Entities 2014 Bill which will create the best platform for ensuring that government entities are protected and made efficient," Mr Sang said.

He said his members are opposed to the recent takeover of new container terminal 2 by the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) shipping line and the latest engagement of Dubai Port World to operate different port facilities countrywide.

Kenya is in the process of signing a concession agreement with Dubai to undertake the development, operation, management and expansion of transport logistics services in Kenya on various components.

The agreement if implemented will see the Dubai port operator take up concession deals which will give it the operator power to run at least four berths at the port of Mombasa, the three Lamu Port completed berths and three special economic zones in Kenya.

Mr Sang urged politicians to desist from engaging in port matters until after the election since such matters cannot be resolved on political platforms and instead at the parliament.

“We do not oppose the creation of Inland Container Depot in different parts of the country since they would help to decongest Mombasa port but what we are opposing is shifting port operation to Nairobi and Naivasha,” said Mr Sang.

He added, “We have not opposed the revival of Kenya National Shipping Line since it is an opportunity to share more than Sh43 billion freight charges paid to foreign shipping line but the merge with MSC should be made public.”

KPA settled on a Swiss firm; (MSC) to run the terminal to fulfil a loan requirement for the construction of the largest terminal at the port.

The MSC; the global largest shipping line through the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) is set to play a critical role in the running of the Sh32 billion terminal.

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Source : Businessdaily Africa

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