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New ports boss here to stay, Transport CS says

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (centre) with Material Testing and Research Division Chief Engineer Stephen Kogi (left) and Kenya Roads Board Executive Director Jacob Ruwa (right) in Mombasa on June 13, 2018. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG  

The appointment of Daniel Manduku as acting Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managing director will not be reversed, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said today.

Mr Macharia said the Authority's board acted within the law when it sent former MD Catherine Mturi-Wairi on compulsory leave and appointed Dr Manduku to the helm.

“Before his appointment to head KPA, Dr Manduku worked at National Construction Authority (NCA) as the CEO. That board is under my ministry so the question that he was an outsider does not arise,” Mr Macharia told journalists in Mombasa Wednesday after his keynote address during the International Transport and Road Research conference at Sarova Whitesands.

While praising the incoming acting MD's track record, he echoed the board's claim that operations at East Africa's busiest port had recently suffered delays and inefficiency.

“Before the board took the decision, the cargo backlog at KPA was about 23,000 containers that could not be moved out of port. As we speak now, there are barely 10,000 cargo containers left. This is an improvement in as far as port operations are concerned,” Mr Macharia said.

“Apart from the new MD, the board now has new members and a new chairman (Rtd General Joseph Kibwana). We are hoping that this new team will spur the facility to greater service delivery.”

He also downplayed calls by Coast leaders that a person form the region should succeed Ms Mturi-Wairi.

“The port does not belong to any community and that is why the board appointed Dr Manduku. As far as I am concerned, every Kenyan has the right to work everywhere, and that matter should not arise at the moment,” said the CS.

Dr Manduku reported to work Wednesday, just a day after the High Court lifted orders suspending his appointment.

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