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Port authority workers protest privatisation of cargo handling facilities

By Murimi Mutiga
Thursday, May 14th, 2020
Mombasa Port.

Murimi Mutiga @murimimutiga

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is at the centre of another fire-fighting effort to calm down its workforce following claims of privatisation of port facilities and plans to outsource labour.

The authority has acknowledged takeover of some of its cargo handling facilities by private entities in what Dock Workers Union (DWU) has termed as backdoor privatisation of public resources.

Security concern

In a statement, KPA management said it had leased out shed number seven and eight to a private operator.

It further revealed that it had already outsourced labour for cargo verification.

“The process was done through a public tender with a view to streamlining the verification process which is necessitated by occasional importers mis-declaration, a major Kenya Revenue Authority security concern,”  it added.

It said allegation that the private firm is using 75 per cent of KPA resources in its work was “misleading as the charges are only for stripping, stuffing and re-stuffing of goods inside the targeted container, subject to client request.”

“The outsourcing is in tandem with the management’s corporate strategy of outsourcing non-core services,” the statement said, adding that the “verification charges are as provided in its current tariff plan.”

The DWU Secretary General Simon Sang claimed that the authority was privatising and outsourcing labour at berth number four and seven without following the due process.