Kenya: Nyali MP Hits Out at Joho Over Family's SGR Deals

3 September 2019

Combative Nyali MP Mohammed Ali has torn into Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho for allowing his family to gain from the standard gauge railway (SGR) deals as the region's residents and businesses lose their livelihoods.

Mr Ali claimed the county boss and his family are benefitting from the misfortunes of many traders and Mombasa residents who have lost jobs at the port as a result of the radical implementation of the use of SGR trains by importers.

"I want to tell the DPP and DCI that on Sunday, we read in the newspaper that the port was going to benefit only one family. We want you to take action against Governor Joho's family.

"When they were looking for votes in 2017, they said that the port's activities would be moved to Nairobi and Naivasha, but they would not allow that to happen. He knew about the plan. Now that the activities have been moved, the family members are at the centre of running the Nairobi SGR facility," Mr Ali said.

The MP was speaking on Monday in Nyali during the handover of a newly-built block of classrooms at Penrose Community Primary School.

BAD POLICIES

However, Governor Joho's allies hit back, saying the politician was misinformed.

Senator Mohammed Faki and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir shrugged off Mr Ali's claims, saying Mombasa residents had lost jobs because of the policies put in place by the government.

"We cannot say that one person is benefitting because he is not speaking out against the government now. Where was Mohammed Ali when Joho was at the forefront in opposing the implementation of the SGR?" asked Mr Faki.

He said as Coast leaders, his camp had been putting pressure on the government to change the policy on the SGR.

"The cargo that we are receiving at the port is 30 million tonnes. Eight million is petroleum, which is transported by specific modes. About six million can be transported by SGR and what we are asking for is for the 16 million tonnes of cargo be shared by other people, including those with trucks. This is what we should push for and not say that one person is benefiting," added Mr Faki.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Mr Nassir said Mr Joho had been pushing the government to deal with unemployment at the Coast, and that it was not possible for the same person to have only his family benefit from business opportunities.

"I do not know for a fact if the governor's family has benefitted because Mr Ali seems to rely on what he read on papers. But what I know is that the governor is pushing to have the region as a whole benefit," he said.

He added that Mr Joho's intentions to deal with unemployment at the Coast and revamp the region's economy were clear as he recently called for a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta to have a chat on the same.

Mr Nassir said it was not justifiable for Mr Ali to point an accusing finger at a person whose best interest is on the region.

"Just the other day, the governor had a meeting with transport stakeholders on the same issues, and what I know is that it is his interest in the people and region that made him do so," he added.

TRANSPORT

On Sunday, the Nation revealed how Governor Joho's family firm was now poised to take over the Nairobi SGR goods facility built using public funds as it eyed more land.

The Nyali legislator blamed the family for the misfortunes that had befallen many transporters.

"Currently, the transporters have no business yet they have remained mum. We will not allow the transporters' businesses to be affected. We are also not going to allow any injustice or our rights to be trampled upon by self-serving leaders," he said.

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