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I am clean, I've nothing to hide — KPA's Manduku

Says business interests political power plays behind allegations of Sh6 billon lost.

In Summary

•Manduku said the DCI and other government investigative agencies are doing their job.

• A former KPA acting head of Ethics and Integrity, Joseph Okhako, said to be a whistle-blower in graft cases at the Mombasa Port, accused Manduku of allowing corrupt deals.

 

Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku and KPA chair General (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana during launch of the 30-year Sh360 billion Master Plan at the Whitesands Hotel on August 7.
DEFENCE: Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku and KPA chair General (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana during launch of the 30-year Sh360 billion Master Plan at the Whitesands Hotel on August 7.
Image: CHARLES MGHENYI

Kenya Ports Authority boss Daniel Manduku has defended himself against allegations of malpractices and graft at the parastatal.

Manduku, who is accused of allowing a possible Sh6 billion loss, said business interests and high-political power plays are behind his woes.

“These are just business interests. I had foreseen this, but the truth will eventually come out,” he told the Star in a phone interview on Tuesday.

“I do not have anything to hide. Let the government agencies do their job and eventually, we shall all come to know the truth,” he said.

Manduku said that for the short time he has been at the helm of KPA, he has been resisted for his achievements in ensuring growth.

“I’m being fought. I’m aware of what is happening, but I do not want to engage,” he said.

For two weeks, Manduku and other top KPA managers have been linked to alleged financial irregularities.

The relocation of the Kipevu Oil Terminal now at 12.5 per cent, is one of the tenders plaguing Manduku. He is said to have inflated the figure from Sh15 billion to Sh40 billion.

These are just business interests. I had foreseen this, but the truth will eventually come out.
Mombasa Port MD Daniel Manduku

On allegations of graft, Manduku said the DCI and other government investigative agencies are doing their job.

Manduku said his track record for the past 10 months is excellent and provable.

Manduku took over the KPA’ hot seat from Catherine Mturi-Wairi on May 31 last year, after she was accused of non-performance and inefficiency at the port.

He was confirmed in November after working in an acting capacity for five months.

“KPA has been recording an upward growth trend in all sectors. It has recorded an all-time revenue high, improved services, smooth delivery of cargo, among other things," he said.

In a three-page document sent to the Star, Manduku said the profitability (of KPA) has also grown from Sh10.6 billion in 2017-18 to Sh17.5 billion in 2018-19.

He said the port cargo throughput has increased from 30.7 million in 2017-18 to 32.7 million in 2018-19,  a growth of six per cent.

 

“The container traffic performed even better during the same period, growing by an impressive nine per cent. Trans-shipment did extremely well, recording four per cent growth,” he said.

A former KPA acting head of Ethics and Integrity, Joseph Okhako, who is said to be a whistle-blower in graft cases at the port, accused Manduku of entertaining corrupt deals.

Manduku said he has overseen the construction of the first three berths at Lamu, progressing from 50 per in June 2018 to 70 per in June 2019.

The first berth of the Lamu port will be launched on October 20.

“This has been achieved despite numerous challenges, especially delays in remitting funds from the Exchequer which led to the work stoppage for five months. The three berths are on course and due for completion in October 2020,” he said.

Manduku said he has overseen the improved performance of SGR freight services from Mombasa port to the Nairobi Inland Container Depot.

“In July, we did 258 trains,” Manduku said.

He said he initiated construction of Phase II of the Second Container Terminal and progress stood at 26 per cent in June.

The project is set for completion in December 2021. Once complete, berth 22 will provide an additional port capacity of 450,000 TEUs and a total expanded port capacity of 2.1 million TEUs, he added.

Construction of a new oil terminal with a handling capacity of 200,000 metric tons is now at 12.5 per cent. The facility will be able to handle four vessels at a go unlike the current facility that limits the handling capacity for petroleum products, he said.

Manduku said the construction of the Sh350 million modern cruise ship terminal has progressed from 30 per cent in June 2018 to 66 per cent in June.

It is to be completed by next month, enhancing cruise tourism.

Finally, Manduku said he also initiated the development of small ports and inland waterways such as Shimoni Port and Kisumu lake Port.

“Kisumu Port is being rehabilitated to enhance trade within the East Africa Region. It will be launched very soon,” he said.

(Edited by V.Graham)