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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 11 January 2015

Importers warn against privatisation of KPA container terminal

Association of Importers of Kenya are opposed to plans to privatise Kenya Ports Authority container terminal, saying the move will impact negatively on performance of the port.
“We  are strongly opposed to the ongoing plans to privatise the first phase of the container terminal by way of concession and agreement between KPA and the operator,” said association chairman Peter Mambembe in a statement.
Mambembe claimed cabinet secretary for Transport was allegedly using backdoor rules to privatise the port to private operators without following the laiddown procedures as per the law, saying if allowed, the current port will lose business to the private operators and result in layoff of thousands of workers in addition to making the port expensive to do business.
He said the government spent billions of shillings from donor funding and taxpayers’ money to expand the first and second phase of the container terminal and it will be unreasonable and unlawful to allow private entities to operate the facility without a consent and approval of the National Assembly.
“We smell a rat in this whole process because KPA is attempting to give away expensive facilities bought by taxpayers to a private operator to operate over 100pc of port business yet the same is not even compelled in the agreement to attain a certain volume. What will happen is that the operator will not be compelled to publish tariff and will end up using their own unlike KPA and make super profits at the expense of the existing entity,” he pointed out.
Mambembe urged Uhuru Kenyatta to halt the privatisation until a bill to regulate and amend the Kenya Ports Authority  Act is passed by the National Assembly and signed into law.
He called for proper provisions of the law to be followed as many will lose employment “if this big  scandal is allowed to go on”.

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