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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 12 April 2015

No end in sight to KPA pension scheme woes

Kenya Ports Authority pension scheme may lose over Sh100 million if a piece of land in Mombasa Island is not repossessed and returned back to the scheme.
Sources say part of a prime plot at Makande area was secretly annexed from the original title when fencing was being done. Real estate entrepreneurs estimate the cost of the annexed plot to be in the range of Sh 100 million.
Representatives of port employees in the scheme are up in arms demanding for answers from KPA head of legal affairs Muthoni Gatere whom they claim was the custodian of the title deed for the land. They want the Ethics and Anti-Corruption officers to take up the matter and deal with the culprits.
“We want to know under whose authority was the land subdivided into two yet we know the whole area had a single title deed. It is absurd that some forces are bent on fleecing port employees whose financial support upon their retirement will be sourced from the fund. If these kind of deals will be allowed to take root then retirees will have nothing to sustain themselves with,” said one of the pension trustees.
The damning revelation of the disposal of the prime plot comes hot on the heels of another  scam in the pension scheme in which a law firm that lost a case at the Industrial Court has lodged a claim demanding to be paid by the scheme a whooping Sh202 million.  Trustees also pointed fingers at Gatere and had to walk out on her.
Unconfirmed reports say, the KPA board of directors have since opposed the lawyer’s payment. However, it is not clear if investigations would be conducted to establish whether the pension fund may have been looted secretly in a similar manner in the past. Efforts to reach Gatere for comment did not bear fruit as her phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, the stepping aside of Transport cabinet secretary Michael Kamau and his principal secretary Nduva Muli has reportedly sent panic among a section of top KPA managers who are alleged to be architects in some of the deals that landed the duo in trouble.
A lady port manager reportedly drafted the documents that gave exclusive rights to a certain firm to handle cargo at the port of Mombasa for 14 years. The lady is a known wheeler dealer who used to invoke Kamau’s name to have her way.
The EAAC is reportedly probing some of the scams among them the port tender for the expansion of the road leading to  gate number one which was shoddily done in spite of KPA spending a whopping Sh400 million. The contractor it is claimed is a close associate of Kamau.
On Muli, the EAAC was trying to ascertain claims that the PS was a business partner owning 40pc shares in a container freight station that was allocated a huge Kenya Railways land to set up a yard for 50 years. The CFS enjoys unparalleled port business allegedly courtesy of the PS directive to top management to relocate it business, it is said.