• MP says though port serves the whole country, it's workforce should comprise Coast residents.
• But KPA official says process is long but will be above board.
Cartels who benefit from shady deals at the Mombasa port are working hard to instal their own at the helm of the Kenya Ports Authority, Nyali MP Mohammed Ali has said.
The recruitment of a new managing director is ongoing after Daniel Manduku resigned on March 26 through a letter to Transport CS James Macharia.
On Monday, Ali said the process is already suspect after some of the people from Mombasa who applied were left out of the list of applicants
“This means already, these able people who have applied from Mombasa have been technically knocked out,” the MP said.
He spoke on Monday when he distributed the first batch of 1,000 bags of food relief to residents of Ziwa la Ng’ombe, Moroto and Kadzandani in Nyali subcounty.
Ali has already picked holes in the process saying vested interests are at play.
“We know there are boardroom meetings going on and the six Coast people who have applied have already been left out after not being published like the rest,” he said.
However, KPA chairman Joseph Kibwana told the Star the recruitment process is long and tedious and will be of utmost integrity.
Speaking on the phone, Kibwana said meetings of the board are being hampered by the current coronavirus pandemic, thus the process will take longer than anticipated.
“It will take some time but it will eventually be done,” Kibwana said. He denied any irregularities in the process.
Ali said a group of people with vested interests wants to instal a friendly person as Manduku’s successor to have their way. He said the job should go to a Coast resident.
“The port belongs to the country but the working force should belong to Mombasa and the Coast region,” Ali said.
Transport CAS Chris Obure on April 21 assured the applicants and Kenyans the recruitment will be above board.
"We will ensure the exercise is open and transparent to the satisfaction of the stakeholders and the government," he said.
Obure said only the deserving candidate will be recommended by the board to the Transport CS.
Ali said people with questionable integrity and who have corruption cases in court have been shortlisted.
“There are people who were transferred from the Mombasa Port to other places because of scandals touching them but they have been listed at the expense of Coast people with integrity.”
“The problem that we have with the shortlisting is the boardroom shenanigans. They know that whoever has the control of the port will be working for the system,” Ali said.
He said the cartel is looking for a good person who can pass the agenda of the system.
However, Kibwana assured that the recruitment process is free and fair and that the best and most deserving person will have the job.
Edited by R.Wamochie