Dock Workers Union wants Coast MPs to fight off terminal privatisation - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 28 December 2020

Dock Workers Union wants Coast MPs to fight off terminal privatisation

 

Privatisation of the second container terminal (CT2) at the Mombasa port is ongoing and some 3,500 port employees risk losing their jobs in the process, the Dock Workers Union has said.

DWU general secretary Simon Sang on Monday told the Star the ‘takeover’ of the Mombasa port by about four powerful families in the country and one from Italy will also cost the government up to Sh46 billion annually.

“The privatisation of the CT2 should be stopped with immediate effect and same, if need be, be referred to Parliament for better and balanced deliberations,” Sang said.

The CT2 is a state-of-the-art facility that cost the government over Sh30 billion.

He once again called on the Coast MPs and other leaders to help stop the privatisation process.

In a letter to all the Coast governors, senators, MPs and MCAs, Sang said the connectivity of the Naivasha dry port and the CT2 through the SGR will create a seamless transportation network which will enable the Naivasha and Mlolongo Industrial Parks to kill the Dongo Kundu and the Lamu Industrial Parks.

“This will instead transfer up to 200,000 jobs that would have been created in the Coast region. The same will be transferred to Naivasha and the Rift valley in general,” Sang said.

He said the leaders must once again stand up and defend the region.

“Business worth billions of shillings will be transferred to Nairobi and Naivasha unfairly and without due consideration of the Coastal region,” Sang said.

However, the government has constantly denied it is planning to disadvantage any part of the country through any project.

Coast regional coordinator John Elungata said it is false to say the government has any sinister motive against the Coast region.

“The Coast region has over 455 major projects being implemented by the government. This is more than any other region in the country,” Elungata said.

The regional commissioner and government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the Dongo Kundu project and the Special Economic Zone will create about 300,000 jobs at the Coast.

“We estimate that after completion, the SEZ will create at least 300,000 jobs directly,” Oguna said.

The 300,000 jobs will, on average, provide for about five people each, according to Oguna.

This means the 300,000 will support about three million people, who will have benefited from the SEZ.

In June last year, Coast MPs, led by Mvita’s Abdulswamad Nassir, ensured that MPs defeated a proposed amendment to deny the government an opportunity to revitalise KNSL by allowing it to run CT2.

The government was at the time planning to re-introduce amendments to the Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act 2019 after it had flopped earlier.

On Monday, Sang said some powerful people in government are behind the whole CT2 privatisation and will benefit from it at the expense of Coast residents and Kenyan taxpayers.

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