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Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Abdallah Mwaruwa has been sent on compulsory leave.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Abdallah Mwaruwa has been sent on compulsory leave.

No official communication has been given for the move.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said the port has an acting director in place but the position will be filled competitively.

The PM said the move is informed by the government’s decision to improve infrastructure to create a favourable environment for the private sector to thrive.

Mr Odinga was speaking at the launch of the National Business Agenda, a strategy document prepared by the private sector highlighting factors impeding their development and proposals on possible solutions.

The move comes only a day after a change of guard at the troubled Rift Valley Railways (RVR) with an Australian Kevin Whiteway replacing Roy Puffett as the managing director.

Former KPA managing director Brown Ondego was appointed the executive chairman, a newly created position at the RVR.

The PM said the port will be expanded to improve efficiency.

“We will expand the container terminal of the port with the help of the Japanese government putting in Sh 15 billion and the government adding Sh 5 billion.”

This comes shortly after the Mombasa Port was directed to clear the congestion and delay of vessels, or risk being penalised.

In fact, several shipping lines had already written to the port management warning of the plans to have the punitive Vessel Delay Surcharge (VDS) slapped on the port.

If the surcharge was to be effected, it would see the cost of importing containers through Mombasa increase tremendously. The tentative date for implementation was set for August 15.

At one point containers had piled to the point of having over 10 ships waiting to off load.

And the violence that rocked the country early this year during the post-election only added to the woes of the port leading to more containers being stuck at the port.

But on Tuesday, the Mr Odinga restated the government’s commitment to addressing all the impediments to the success of the private sector.

“For example we are working on a concession of the Mombasa-Busia highway to make it a dual carriage,” he said.