Port privatization plans show ineptitude, bad intention of Ruto regime – Azimio

The Azimio coalition has opposed the proposed privatization or concessioning of the Mombasa port.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga, in a statement to the media in Mombasa on Tuesday, said the secrecy with which the process is being conducted raises questions.

“We are perturbed by the decision which is without public participation or involvement of the Mombasa county government,” Raila said.

He spoke after a consultative forum with the Azimio Coalition leadership and elected Azimio governors.

Nineteen Azimio governors attended the six-hour forum with four missing with apologies.

Raila questioned the value of the privatization or concessioning of the Mombasa port viz-a-viz the benefit to Kenyans, especially those at the Coast

“We shall resist any such attempts,” Raila said.

This adds to the growing voices of resistance to the planned privatization of sections of the Mombasa port.

Kenya Ports Authority chairman Benjamin Tayari has already denied there are plans to privatize the Mombasa port

He said what is being mooted is the concessioning of parts of the berths for more effective operation

However, on Friday, Raila, who was flanked by the 17 governors and Azimio coalition Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka and Eugene Wamalwa, said the undertaking is part of the Kenya Kwanza regime’s ploy to usurp some of the functions of counties to scuttle devolution.

Raila said devolution is the best thing to ever happen to Kenyans in terms of service delivery.

“There is need to strengthen it,” he said.

The Azimio Coalition leadership said the Kenya Kwanza regime should stop meddling in county affairs, trying to take back some of the functions devolved to counties like construction of industrial parks, distribution of fertilizer and construction of markets.

Azimio said Kenya Kwanza has been delaying the disbursement of funds meant for counties and ha e now proposed amending the County Government Act to remove the red tape that is involved in counties getting their deserved funds.

Raila said currently, governors have to travel to Nairobi to push for the release of their funds.

These tactics, Raila said, are part of a scheme to beat governors into submission.

“The national and county governments are supposed to complement each other and not compete,” Raila said.

He said the Azimio coalition supports the ongoing national dialogue at the Bomas of Kenya saying it will address the problems Kenyans face including high cost of living, high cost of fuel, over-taxation and high rate of unemployment.

The Azimio governors agreed to work diligently for their people to show Kenyans what Azimio is all about.