Dock Workers Union (DWU) has described the recent changes at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) top management as a positive move towards enhancing efficiency at both the Ports of Mombasa and Lamu.
The Union Secretary General Simon Sang welcomed the changes, saying they were necessary and came at the right time.
The changes were made last week following resolutions of a special board meeting at KPA headquarters in Mombasa.
“We are extremely happy that these changes have taken place at this time when KPA has invested massively to enhance efficiency,” said Sang in Mombasa on Sunday.
The Authority has effected major changes at the level of General Managers and other senior positions that also saw the retirement of other officials.
The changes announced by the acting Managing Director Amb. John Mwangemi saw appointment of Lamu Port General Manager Abdulahi Samatar as General Manager Infrastructure Development, replacing Vincent Sidai.
Former naval officer Godfrey Namadoa was elevated from his post of Principal Marine Officer to General Manager Marine Operations.
The changes also saw the replacement of General Manager Human Resource and Administration Daniel Ogutu whose contract has expired. His duties will be discharged by the current General Manager Corporate Services Edward Kamau who is also going to be in charge of medical services and security.
A newly created division Supply Chain and Procurement will be headed by Ms Everlyne Shigoli who was Director Support Services at Kenya Coast Guards Service on secondment from KPA.
Another female official who was also promoted is Ms Everlyne Mwamure who will be the new General Manager of Corporate Services, Quality Management System and Safety.
Several other changes were made in various departments including Cargo Operations Inland Container Depot where Sudi Mwasinago was appointed General Manager.
The port of Mombasa has lately witnessed major improvement through multi-billion infrastructural and technology investment.
Kenya is building and expanding ports and shipping facilities in its drive to become a world-class maritime hub for global trade.
The ongoing expansion programme including the construction of Sh32 billion phases two of the second container terminal are part of the measures to transform the port into a logistics hub in the region.
The multibillion Lamu port codenamed Lamu South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor stands to transform the historical port town’s position in the global maritime transport system.
The new Lamu port is becoming the focal point of a massive regional trans-shipment hub capable of accommodating goods being transported by sea, land and air.
The port of Lamu is expected to have a total of 23 modern deep-sea berths with a quay length of 400 metres each.
In May last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta Commissioned the Lamu Port and launched berth No 1 and container terminal No 1 in Manda Bay.
According to the maritime stakeholders, the Port will catapult Kenya into the league of key global transshipment and commercial maritime hubs.
It is expected to give huge competition to established ports such as Durban of South Africa, Djibouti and Salalah of Oman.
By Mohamed Hassan