Business

KPA management told to confront ‘budgeted’ graft

Wednesday, November 29th, 2023 05:10 | By
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen with KPA chair Benjamin Tayari (right) during the launch of KPA Strategic Plan 2023/24 - 2027/28 in Mombasa. PHOTO/Ndegwa Gathungu
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen with KPA chair Benjamin Tayari (right) during the launch of KPA Strategic Plan 2023/24 - 2027/28 in Mombasa. PHOTO/Ndegwa Gathungu

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) management has been asked to decisively deal with “corruption and wastages” which have been hindering the ease of doing business at the Port of Mombasa.


Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen told the Managing Director William Ruto to especially “deal with the disease of budgeted corruption.”


“Management of KPA must eliminate corruption, wastage of public resources, and bureaucratic red tape that hinders the ease of doing business. MD you must deal with budgeted corruption,” he said.


“Somebody sits down and says tunatafuta pesa kidogo, (we are looking for some little money) what can we do at the port? Then they say let’s remove this white cabro and replace it with black cabro because it does not look that good,” Murkomen added.


“So you find every year, the board passes a budget which looks like it has been passed officially, but inside there, it’s a budgeted corruption. When I say that, I am speaking from a point of information because the government has ears everywhere.”


Murkomen was speaking during the launch of the KPA Strategic Plan for the years 2023/24-2027/28, at a Mombasa hotel. During the event, Ruto projected the demand for port throughput to shoot to 38.9 million tonnes in 2027/2028 up from 35.08 million tonnes in 2023/2024.


The CS said part of the reason the government is opting to rope in the services of the private sector at the Port of Mombasa, is because a few people who work in the public service but are not interested in the wellbeing of the country.

Such people, Murkomen said take money which could have assisted in expanding the stature of the port to do things that are awkward and “you will find that every year we are going round.” He said KPA will partner with the private sector through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework to bridge its financing gaps to finance capital intensive projects for the next five years.

While noting “port privatisation” has remained a hot topic in the region, Murkomen said it is important for the conversation to remain as intensive because the PPP projects are not supposed to be boardroom decisions made by few people.


“We want the People of Kenya, especially at the Coast to be part and parcel of the conversation on the concessioning and attracting private investments in our ports,” the CS said.


While reiterating that the government is “not in the business of selling KPA to a private investor, Murkomen insisted that KPA will remain an assets that is held by the government of Kenya but at the same time attracting private investors to develop parts of the ports.


He said Kenya is keen to ensure the Port of Mombasa remains competitive, noting that reports that neighboring ports are improving will “only challenge us to do even far much better.”


According to Ruto, the Port of Mombasa has registered marked improvements in its operational efficiency, hard-hitting global economic conditions compounded with the current heavy rains notwithstanding.

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