Concerns Over China Operating Mombasa Port

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President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off SGR Phase 2A at the Nairobi Terminus on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
  • The planned merger between Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Railways Corporation and Kenya Pipeline Company by the government has attracted fierce opposition from Human Rights Activists and transport sector players.

    The two groups claim that the merger will lead to China taking over control of the Port of Mombasa with the country yet to complete payment of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) loans. 

    According to the activists, African Star Railways Cooperation owned by China Road and Bridges Cooperation is set to take over the busy port.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off SGR Phase 2A at the Nairobi Terminus on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    PSCU

    Salim Karama, a member of Okoa Mombasa, claimed that the media has been blocked from reporting the impending take over of the port.

    “It cannot be reported in the media that China has already taken over the port, the name Kenya Ports Authority is also set to change,” he claimed.

    Karama noted that Kenya Railways Corporation is struggling to pay its debt to China citing the court’s decision to rule the SGR tender illegal.

    Should President Uhuru Kenyatta fail to withdraw the merger, the activists have threatened to stage nationwide strike to oppose the move.

    The activists also cited a lack of public participation in the move to merge the three state-owned corporations.

    “There is zero public participation, there is zero input from parliament, there is zero input from stakeholders including the Kenya Transporters Association, it can only mean that is not good for the country,” lamented one of the activists.

    The activists and transport sector players have accused President Uhuru of hiding behind executive orders to effect ‘illegal’ policies such as the mandatory transport of cargo to Naivasha.

    The merger is set to be signed on Tuesday, September 8, under the Kenya Transport Logistics Network.

    The repayment of the principal loan extended to Kenya for the first phase of the mega railway project was to start in January 2020, according to an agreement signed with Exim Bank of China in May 2014.

    Kenya Pipeline Company Managing Director Irungu Macharia at a past event.
    Kenya Pipeline Company Managing Director Irungu Macharia at a past event.
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  • Source: KENYAGIST.COM

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