Residents most at risk if Chinese take port

Mombasa county secretary Francis Thoya at zimlat in Shanzu on Thursday / JOHN CHESOLI
Mombasa county secretary Francis Thoya at zimlat in Shanzu on Thursday / JOHN CHESOLI

Mombasa residents stand to suffer most if Kenya were to default on Chinese debt and the port taken over, county secretary Francis Thoya has said.

The Mombasa port and the tourism sector are among the key contributors to the county’s economy.

“Whether we fear speaking out or not, let us have it in mind that our people will ask what happened and we will have no answers,” Thoya said.

On December 28, during the first round table question and answer session with journalists at State House, Mombasa, President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed as propaganda reports that China will take over the port.

“The issue of the take-over of Mombasa Port by China is pure propaganda. We are ahead of our payment schedule for the SGR loan and there is no cause for alarm,” Uhuru said.

Thoya said anything that affected the economy of Mombasa will catalyse the surge of insecurity in the county. “If people don’t have jobs, they enter into crime.” He spoke on Thursday evening at Zimlat area in Shanzu during a fund raiser for the families of three people who were shot dead by a two-man gang that raided an M-Pesa shop on December 23, in the area.

On New Year eve, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi challenged Uhuru to update Kenyans on the status and details of all loans. “Why take us on a long journey? Why don’t you just make full disclosure,” he said.