Muslim clerics in Mombasa want the ongoing recruitment at the Kenya Ports Authority stopped and a fresh one done.
The Kenya Muslims Advisory Council has said the recruitment, which started in April, is biased against Coast natives.
Chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao wants a list of all those who have already been recruited published so Kenyans can know the composition.
He said most of those recruited are from outside the region, yet there are equally or better qualified people from the Coast who are ignored.
“The KPA recruitment is selective, which is against the Constitution,” Ngao said.
He spoke to the Star on the phone on Wednesday evening.
The PNU national vice chairman said Coast natives, including the Mijikenda, Bajunis, Taitas, Pokomos, Tavetas, Arabs and Asians, are ignored.
“After this recruitment exercise, it will take another 20 years for there to be another one like this. If our people are not considered now, when will they?” Ngao said.
He said this is a continuation of the historical injustices against Coast residents, which has been blamed for the emergence of groups like the Mombasa Republican Council.
This is an echo of sentiments raised by Nominated Senator Emma Mbura on June 6.
Mbura said employment at the KPA is skewed and favours only those who have godfathers in system.
“If leaders at the Coast and the national government do not prioritise locals in employment at the port, then there will be problems," she said.
“Godfathers are bringing in people from all over the country for employment at the port and leave out those from the Coast.”
Mbura said qualified Coast people are left out in favour of relatives and friends of powerful people in the national government.
On Wednesday, Ngao said he is not against communities from outside the Coast being recruited at the port.
“But let the natives form the bulk of the workforce at the port. That is what devolution is all about. We have people from non-native communities, but who were born and raised at the Coast," he said.
Ngao said Coast natives in the past were not as learned as their counterparts from upcountry, but this has changed.
“Now we have scholars and PhD holders from the local Coast communities,” he said.
The cleric asked KPA managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi, who hails from the Coast, to ensure there is no bias in recruitment at the port.
“If she cannot manage the port let her resign. I'm a degree holder and I can do the job well,” Ngao said.
“These are the things that make the Coast an opposition always.”
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