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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 9 February 2015

Signs Mungatana port job uncertain clearer by the day

The renewal of Danson Mungatana’s contract as board chairman of Kenya Ports Authority has hit a snag. For the last three months, the former MP has been waiting for re-appointment without any success.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had appointed Mungatana to serve for a period of eight months and the contract is said to have ended in October last year. Since then, the influential position has remained vacant.
It is said when Uhuru presided over a function at the Kenya Navy base at Mtongwe, Mombasa early this year, Mungatana attempted to reach him but was blocked. Two major functions have also taken place at the port of Mombasa recently without Mungatana in sight.
The first one was the celebration to mark the port’s attainment of handling a million containers. Mungatana’s name was not included in the programme of speakers. The next one was when Transport minister Michael Kamau received a ship carrying rails for the Standard Gauge Railway project where Mungatana was also conspicuously absent.
Unconfirmed reports say Mungatana has now been barred from entering the port and cannot also use the car allocated to him. It was not immediately clear if KPA was still paying for his accommodation at the Royal Court Hotel, Mombasa where he has been putting up since being appointed port chairman.
Sources say Mungatana may have created too many enemies in the short period he served in the chairman’s position. It is said his abrasive style of leadership rubbed many port managers the wrong way.
Unconfirmed reports say KPA MD Gichiri Ndua was not in good terms with Mungatana who operated like an executive chairman. It is said at one time, Mungatana summoned all the managers in the boardroom including the MD and read them the riot act.
He told the managers he had not gone to the port to joke with them and that he would not hesitate to push things under their throats if they did not toe the line. It is said the lecturing did not go down well with the managers most of whom left the room shaking their heads especially over the manner he embarrassed the MD by rebuking him before his juniors.
Additionally, he gave controversial directives that put him in conflict with the management. He for instance, demanded that an audit of all procurements be undertaken by an international firm, accusing managers of corruption.
It is however said Mungatana is still hopeful of a comeback and has cautioned his enemies against premature celebration of his alleged fall and perceived exit.