Joho back in freight business, months after Handshake

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa governor Hassan Joho in Mombasa during the launch of the Kenya Coast Guard Service on Monday, November 19, 2018. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa governor Hassan Joho in Mombasa during the launch of the Kenya Coast Guard Service on Monday, November 19, 2018. /PSCU

Mombasa governor Hassan Joho's family is back in the export and import business, eight months after the Handshake.

The company placed a banner on the SGR container reading, “Autoports Freight Terminal Limited - your navigator in the logistics world - supporting the SGR."

KPA ordered the closing of Portside and Autoports freight terminals in 2016 amid allegations they were linked to smuggling of multimillion-shilling goods.

The companies sought an order to continue operating, which KRA opposed, saying it would paralyse investigations and lead to massive loss of government revenue.

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Joho, who at the time did not see eye to eye with President Uhuru Kenyatta, protested against the government's plans to open the Nairobi's Inland Container Depot. He said Mombasa residents would lose jobs.

The Association of Importers of Kenya termed the shutdown illegal, saying the Uhuru administration had failed to follow the legal procedure. AIK said the shutdown was supported by a political witch-hunt to ensure Joho's family accumulated losses.

However, despite the protests, Uhuru’s administration did also not allow the Portside and Autoports freight terminals to receive cargo from the harbour.

Others in the opposition whom the Jubilee administration targeted included NASA co-principals Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula. Flamboyant businessman Jimmi Wanjigi's offices and home were raided by the police.

On March 9, Uhuru and Raila agreed to start talks to end political hostility in the country. Joho later embraced the Handshake and has accompanied and hosted Uhuru during a number of events.

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