August 9

Ruto men claim State has sold 3 ports

Thursday, June 30th, 2022 07:00 | By
Kenya Kwanza principals Alfred Mutua, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula address a media briefing at a Nairobi hotel, yesterday. PHOTO/Kenna Claude

Kenya Kwanza Alliance yesterday sensationally claimed that the Jubilee administration had mortgaged the ports of Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru to a Dubai-based company.

Led by the Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, the alliance said the deal was agreed between the government of Kenya and the United Arab Emirates-based company, the Dubai Port World FZE.

“In a secret deal under the guise of an Economic Cooperation Agreement with the United Arab Emirates, and which epitomises grand corruption; the Jubilee government has assented to a rip-off that will see a foreign privately registered entity – Dubai Port World FZE – take over these key national infrastructural assets,” stated the statement read by Mudavadi.

It further stated, “Indeed, why would a government with only less than five weeks to leave office hurriedly and secretly auction the operations, development, redevelopment and management of all our Ports to a foreign entity?”

The alliance, which is led by Deputy President William Ruto, said the secret deal characterises state capture, further alleging that the deal was mooted during Azimio- One Kenya Alliance flag bearer Raila Odinga’s birthday party. Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho also agreed to the deal.

Yatani, while admitting he signed the document, blamed the Kenya Kwanza of soiling the country’s international image by playing cheap politics.

“The government has the responsibility of utilising development opportunities on behalf of the citizens. Like Lamu for example, we wanted partners so that neighbouring countries can come for business here like used car importation instead of going to Dubai like the current situation that is why we sought partners in Dubai.”

Investment opportunities

Yatani faulted the politicians for ruining the country’s investment opportunities: “The letter talks about cooperation and cooperation does not mean anyone is dishing out public property to outsiders. These are just discussions that have started should there be an agreement it will be done after two years. The incoming government will consider whether or not there is need to expand the economy using this avenue. It can refuse to use it. This is not a binding agreement.”

Raila’s presidential campaign team spokesperson Makau Mutua also dismissed the claims as desperate shots from the Kenya Kwanza brigade.

“Our attention has been drawn to the wild and reckless allegations made by Hon Musalia Mudavadi of the Kenya Kwanza grouping touching on the Mombasa Port. It is not lost on us that this is the silly season, and our political competitors are now throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if anything will stick,” Mutua said.

Makau said Raila had dismissed the allegations: “I have consulted with the Rt Hon Raila Odinga, the Azimio presidential candidate, about this matter. He has undoubtedly dismissed these allegations with the contempt they deserve.”

Mudavadi, who was accompanied by more than 30 MPs, produced a letter containing details of the Economic Cooperation Agreement that was allegedly signed on March 1 by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani.

On their part, officials at the Kenya Port Authority (KPA) corporate communications said KPA boss John Mwangemi could not comment on the matter because the letter had not referred to him at any point.

They said the fact that the letter was signed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, automatically disqualifies the KPA managing director from reacting to the matter. “The right person to react on that matter automatically is the CS,” said a source close to the CEO.

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula said the alliance would be going to court to challenge the undertaking, which he said was illegal as it bypassed constitutional requirements including public participation and approval by Parliament.

“We have many other such deals which are in the Jubilee’s kitchen. We will be releasing them in small doses,” said the Bungoma Senator.

Small doses

“The cooperation agreement was in gross violation of the Public-Private Partnership Act. There is no involvement of the public and the legislature and even the devolved units as entailed in the constitution” stated Garissa Township MP Aden Duale.

He added: “The government cannot hide under the PPPA; Kenyans want to know the details of the contract and whether it adheres to procedures.”

According to Duale, bypassing Parliament puts the viability of the projects at risk given that the handover is scheduled to take place when Parliament is on sine die, ensuring the illegality and corruption is effected uninterrupted.

Kenya Kwanza team demanded that Yatani and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki make public details of who owns the company and how much taxpayer’s money has been given to the company so far.

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