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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 16 February 2015

Lobbying for KPA chairman post begins in earnest

Lobbying for Kenya Ports Authority board chairman post has intensified even as Danson Mungatana’s fate continues to hang in the balance.
Last week, Mungatana in a text message response to a story in this paper about his tribulations insisted all was well, claiming his absence from port functions was as result of an agreement with managing director Gichiri Ndua not to be put in any formal function to avoid confusion.
He further claimed he was holding meetings at the port to as late as Wednesday last week. “ I was at the port just this  Wednesday and held meetings there. Why tell lies,” his text message said.
However, investigations established that since early November last year, Mungatana’s office at Mombasa port had been locked and access denied. It is said the corporation secretary and head of legal services Muthoni Gatere issued instructions to bar the former MP from entering the office once his term of office expired in October last year and renewal was not forthcoming.
Mungatana had crossed swords with Gatere after he purported to cancel an advertisement and an award of tender by KPA pension scheme for sale of plots over claims of corruption. The expiry of his contract was obviously sweet music to Gatere’s ears.
According to sources close to Mungatana, after his contract of eight months expired, he lobbied to have it renewed and was promised that the same would be effected without delay. However, days and months have since gone by without any sign that he is about to return to the port of Mombasa as chairman.
He is said to have incurred huge bills at the Royal Court Hotel, Mombasa where he lived and entertained friends for the period he served as port chairman. It is not clear whether the hotel bills were being serviced by himself or KPA.
Some top port managers unsure whether he would bounce back as chair of the board have however remained close to him for fear that if they dump him and he comes back, they will become his targets.
But last week, it emerged that URP may have demanded for the post. It is said MD Ndua being from Central is regarded as TNA person hence the chairman post ought to be held by a URP. Mungatana is in TNA. But it had been agreed that the post must go to a Coastal to avoid complaints of marginalisation.
Former Bahari MP Joe Khamisi’s name is featuring prominently in a list of people being proposed for the post. And apart from Khamisi, the name of former URP national elections board chairman Nyule Ngumbao reflects. Francis Baya, a former Coast PC and a URP gubernatorial aspirant for Kilifi county in the last general elections is being mentioned.