Governor Abdulswamad slams the Ruto government over plans to privatize Mombasa Port, “Leave Mombasa Port alone. Go privatize Kenya Airways,”
Just days after the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) invited bids, Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir opposed the plan to privatize portions of the Mombasa Port.
While speaking during the commissioning of the offshore fishing boats on Tuesday, the governor questioned how the action would benefit the residents of Mombasa.
Additionally, he requested to know what feasibility study resulted in the decision to privatize Mombasa Port.
The plan, in the governor’s opinion, would only be detrimental to the nation and advantageous to a select group of people. He questioned how port employees would be able to keep their employment.
Governor Abdulswamad emphasized that he was not scared of speaking against privatization despite being warned against it.
“We cannot be taken for a ride, today they want to privatize the ports and when speaking against it, those, in my office tell me to tone it down,” he stated.
“Why can’t they go and privatize Kenya Airways so that other planes can also land here? Whenever we ask about that we are told it’s being looked into,” he said.
He said leaders in Western Kenya have united to oppose plans to privatize sugar millers in the region, a unity he said Mombasa leaders should emulate and reject the planned privatization of the port.
The county boss opined that the national government was out to take over Mombasa’s resources adding “If they had a chance, they would have sold the water in the ocean.”
“There are some in my government who is telling me ‘go, slow governor, lest you spoil for us’. I want to ask one question, the ministers are here, and public board members are here. Please tell me, what has the national government done for the people of Mombasa?” he posed.
“Even this water you see here, if some had the means, they would have already sold it.”
On September 12, KPA’s Managing Director William Ruto invited bids from those interested in the development and operation of private assets through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
Interested bidders can choose from Lamu Container Terminal Berths 1 to 3, Lamu Special Economic Zone, Mombasa Port’s Berths 11 to 14, and Mombasa Port Container Terminal 1.
The plan to privatize ports was first fronted by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposed by his successor who at the time was the Deputy President.
President William Ruto has since made a U-turn despite reverting port operations to Mombasa.