Importers can now heave a sigh of relief as they have an option of using the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) of road transport for haulage of their containers after a deal was brokered by a Parliamentary committee and the Ministry of Transport which suspended the directive that only the SGR would be used for cargo transport from the port of Mombasa.
Addressing the media at Kenya Ports Authority Headquarters in Mombasa on Monday, leaders from the area and transport stakeholders confirmed the revocation order notice directing importers and their clients to use any of the means to deliver their goods to Nairobi or Naivasha.
The Mvita Member of Parliament, Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir said parliament did the due diligence in revoking the earlier directive that SGR will be the sole means to deliver cargo to Nairobi or Naivasha inland ports.
Abdulswamad said KPA will make a formal announcement on Tuesday in all the national dailies on the issue so that clients are informed on the developments to use whichever means they want to have their goods ferried.
“We engaged all the transport stakeholders and resolved everyone will be free to use their preferred means to transport their cargo from the port of Mombasa calling on all the sector players to inform their members”, said Abdulswamad
He urged his colleagues in parliament to accept the report he and the team from coastal region are preparing to bring a permanent solution to the cargo transport that has had hitches in the recent times.
The Kenya Transporters Association CEO, Dennis Ombok said they will reach an agreement with the Kenya Ports Authority to fight monopoly in the cargo business assuring everybody wishing to carry transport cargo will write to KPA citing the means of choice.
Today is a very good day for us. We are happy as transporters that KPA has listened to us and tomorrow we are waiting to see the content of the advert on the national dailies.
The Likoni Member of Parliament, Mishi Mboko cited communication breakdown adding that the issues of cargo transport were not properly addressed but the issues have now been ironed out allowing freedom of choice for transporters.
“We sat as MPs and agreed there must be a way to pass the message to all stakeholders to know it is now optional to transport cargo using SGR or road” Mishi added.
She called on the concerned stakeholder in the cargo business to device mechanisms to give feedback to leaders to avoid misconceptions due to lack of consultations.
By Joseph Kamolo