Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has said the state has started transferring port services from Mombasa and pledged to stop the move.
Joho said on Sunday the move was weakening the Mombasa economy. He said he didn’t care if he was criticised, as he was before
the General Election.
He spoke during the Coast People’s Assembly in Mombasa where members resolved to secede if major transfer to inland ports becomes a reality.
The secession chorus appears to be subsiding but it picks up whenever NASA principals tour the region.
Before the August 8 elections, Joho feuded with the government over establishment of the dry port in Naivasha.
He has said jobs will be lost and the Coast economy sabotaged by inland ports. He said Jubilee wants to subjugate Mombasa and force it to its “deathbed”. This placed him on the war path with the Presidency.
At the time, Deputy President William Ruto called Joho “an academic dwarf who lacks grasp on matters involving the port”.
Joho’s fued with the state over the port and other issues resulted in his security being withdrawn. He was excluded from presidential functions.
He did not budge, neither did the government and the war continued.
As soon as Joho was declared the winner, his tone towards Jubilee softened.
But Joho resumed his outbursts on Sunday when he said he will not compromise on residents’ interests.
“Most clearing and forwarding jobs will be lost,” he said.
Inland Container Depot
On December 16 last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched an Sh22 billion inland container depot in Naivasha.
He offered a 50 per cent discount to exporters who will use the facility.
The head of state directed 22 agencies that are members of the Mombasa Port Charter to meet their obligation in addressing logistical challenges.
Uhuru said the inland port will create jobs.
“The cargo moving
up and down the line to and from the port for export will present opportunities for employment and wealth creation across the various counties,” he said during the launch.
Joho said if NASA leader Raila Odinga were president, transfer of port services to Naivasha or Embakasi would be halted.
NASA says Raila is to be sworn in as the People’s President on January 30.