• The matter of contention is the proposal by the state to privatise Container Terminal 2.
• Workers welfare official says KPA chief executive is 'just a pawn' in the war between dock workers and state over CT2 privatisation.
A section of dock workers has asked their union leadership to stop using KPA boss Daniel Manduku as a punching bag in their war with the government.
The Port Workers Welfare and Performance Group claimed Daniel Manduku, the Kenya Ports Authority chief executive, was a pawn in the tussle over the proposed privatisation of the Sh27 billion second container terminal (CT2).
“It is in the public domain that some forces are after Manduku, who was confirmed as MD of the authority on a three-year contract,” PWWPG said in a statement on Thursday.
Chairman Waweru Kamau, secretary Ali Khamis and organising secretary Peter Ouma said the managing director was not at the helm when the CT2 was built.
Kamau said Dock Workers Union secretary general Simon Sang, who is opposed to the privatisation of the CT2, should not direct his ire to Manduku.
“We urge the union spokesman to respect Manduku, being a civil servant. Sang should face the government to get its stand on the privatisation of the facility,” Khamis said.
Ouma accused Sang of overstepping his mandate. “He should first put his house in order. He should use his energy to serve the union members. There are serious issues affecting port workers which require Sang’s attention. He should not engage in non-issues."
Sang is facing a rebellion from a section of DWU leadership. A faction of the union headed by chairman Mohamed Sheria is accusing the secretary general of using the organisation for selfish interests.
On Thursday, PWWPG said the government has not issued any official statement regarding the privatisation of the CT2.
They said Manduku has helped the port to turn around and called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to protect him.
“Since Manduku was appointed he has been able to kick out of the port cowboy contractors and unscrupulous suppliers,” Waweru said.
“In a span of three months before he was confirmed, Manduku improved revenue turnover from Sh30 billion to Sh50 billion."
Edited by R.Wamochie