The Star (Nairobi)

26 July 2013

Kenya: Control of Mombasa Port Not a Priority, Say Dockers

THE Dock Workers Union has said placing the control of the Mombasa port under the county will overburden the county government.

The union said the move will have no direct or indirect impact on the lives of residents. It said county leaders should instead concentrate on how to transform the port into a free facility.

"A free port facility will create up to 200,000 jobs in the Coast immediately it is complete," DWU general secretary Simon Sang said in a statement. Mombasa leaders have been calling on the national government to let the county run the port saying it belongs to the county.

"Mombasa leaders are sitting on a gold mine. However, the running of the port if transferred to the county government will be an extra burden. They have other things to work on. We are yet to see garbage collection done effectively besides other promises made by Governor Hassan Joho and Senator Hassan Omar," Sang said.

The union official said the only demand the leaders can make is at least 20-50 per cent of the profits made at the port to be directed to the county and some positions on the port's board.

The Fourth Schedule, section 5(e) of the constitution provides that ferries and harbours are under county governments "It however, excludes the regulation of related international and national shipping matters," Sang said.

"I would therefore wish my brother senator Omar who is a legal expert will give us the correct picture," he said. He asked for partnership between the leaders and the union in ensuring the Dongo Kundu free port facility is built immediately.

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