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CPG air their anxiety over Mombasa Port concessioning and privatisation

The Coast Parliamentary Group (CPG) has expressed their reservations about the planned concessioning of Mombasa Port assets and privatisation by the Government.

The process is said to be a strategic move by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to attract private sector investment, encourage technological advancements and improve overall service delivery.

KPA recently conducted a pre-bid conference that marked the beginning of the comprehensive bidding process which is set to provide interested and qualified investors with an opportunity to submit their proposals.

The bids will then be evaluated based on technical expertise, financial capability and sustainability plans. The successful bidders will then enter into concession agreements with KPA, outlining their responsibilities, obligations and the expected outcomes.

Speaking to the media, the Chairman of the Coast Parliamentary Group Committee, Danson Mwashako said that they had an engagement with KPA’s top leadership to understand why they moved forward without the involvement of the leadership of the region.

Mwashako said that the matter has divided the stakeholders of the facility and that it was important for them to gather the facts and impacts of the process.

“The members were taken through a PowerPoint presentation detailing exactly what KPA wants to do, however, the presentation incited reactions from the members and they aired their concerns,” Mwashako said.

“Our number one concern is our people, will that proposal guarantee that no individual worker will lose their job, will the people of the Coast region continue being part and parcel of this great resource?” he added.

He emphasized issues around the business case as he noted that KPA has been a very profitable parastatal, wondering why the need to privatize it.

Mwashako said that their concerns were addressed but they still feel that there is more research and engagement they ought to do before coming up with a decision

He said that the Committee needs to be involved closely on this matter because decisions of that magnitude ought not be made without the involvement of the elected representatives of the people.

“They have given us their action plan and when they intend to finish the process which will be in June next year,” he said.

Mwashako stressed that they are going to hold more engagements among the CPG members, and if need be, they shall delay the process to invite every stakeholder on board and collect their opinions on the matter.

He added that they will also consult experts on the issue to gain more insight on the same because most members are against it as of now.

“We are retreating and we shall declare where we stand about this matter at the right time but the bottom line is we must guarantee our people job security and that the deal must by all means make economic sense for the Coast and the Country as a whole,” he concluded.

By Fatma Said

 

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