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January 17, 2019

Consider expatriates for Coast port job

A section of Mombasa Port
A section of Mombasa Port

Coast politicians are protesting the sacking last week of Catherine Mturi-Wairi as the managing director of Kenya Ports Authority (see P25).

They say a Coast person should always be MD of KPA as it is the largest local business.

This is misguided. A Coastal MD would be expected to give more jobs to local people, irrespective of qualifications. This is a recipe for inefficiency.

Mombasa port is the entrepot for East African industry. Its chief executive must be appointed on merit and not as an ethnic reward.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Mturi-Wairi's dismissal, her replacement must be seen to be outstanding.

The post of MD of KPA should now be publicly advertised and the best possible candidate identified.

KQ and KAA are now both managed by expatriates with special aviation expertise. That is considered to be in the national interest.

So the advertisement for the ports MD should specifically welcome applications from expatriates as well as qualified Kenyans with experience in logistics and harbour management.

Quote of the day: "The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones."

John Maynard Keynes

The English economist was born on 5 June, 1883

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