PUBLISHED ON July 24th, 2014


Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) chairman Danson Mungatana has dismissed a threat by the Mombasa County to take over the management of the port.

Mr Mungatana said the Mombasa port was both a national and international facility serving the country and neighbours like Uganda, Rwanda and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He noted that the port is a national asset as per the KPA Act, which makes Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho’s threat to take over the facility unlawful.

“There is no way the Mombasa governor can take over the port as it is legally a national asset,” he said. “The governor cannot handle issues dealt with by heads of State.”

Mr Mungatana pointed out that when Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has an issue over the port he consults President Uhuru Kenyatta and warned that such a takeover could see Kisumu, Eldoret and Nairobi counties also lay claim to the port facilities in their areas.

Mr Joho has been lobbying the national government to devolve the port, saying the facility is a Mombasa county asset and warned he would mobilise Coast residents to take over the management of the facility.

The governor claimed residents do not benefit as the revenue generated at the facility goes to the national government.

Efforts by the county to impose a Sh174 ($2) levy on every one-tonne of cargo handled at the port hit a snag last year after KPA bosses said they had not been consulted on the matter.

The county budget for 2013/2014 had indicated that there would be a $2 port levy per tonne of cargo that would be collected by the KPA management on behalf of the county.

“We have the example where electricity is generated at Kindaruma dam, but I have never heard the area governor demanding managing the facility as it is a national asset,” Mr Mungatana said.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of an Agricultural Society of Kenya event at the Mkomani Show Ground in Mombasa yesterday, Mr Mungatana said KPA had over the years supported development projects in the county.

“Mombasa county residents have benefited from jobs at the port, container freight stations and clearing and forwarding firms,” he said.

Mr Mungatana rallied behind the Sh327 billion standard gauge railway deal signed between Kenya and China saying it would ease cargo transportation from the port.

The KPA chairman said cargo transported by rail had dropped from 30 per cent to five per cent due to inefficient services.

Source: Business Daily

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