CS Macharia denies sabotage claim in port dispute

The government has dismissed claims by Coast leaders that the building of a dry port in Naivasha will sabotage Mombasa County’s economy.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia termed the claims illogical.

Last weekend, politicians claimed that the government wants to transfer port services from Mombasa to Naivasha.


Speaking at a rally in Changamwe,  the politicians led by Governor Hassan Joho and MPs reiterated claims that the government wants to paralyse port operations in Mombasa and kill the economy.

But speaking on Friday during the opening of a parliamentary select committee on transport, public works and housing, the CS insisted that the dry port would not sabotage Mombasa’s economy.

“I thought that was a political debate which ended with the elections. I am surprised it is still coming up. It is a very illogical statement. Would we have constructed the Standard Gauge Railway going into the port of Mombasa if we intended to move the port to Naivasha?’’ Mr Macharia said.

He said the government is investing more in Mombasa, citing the construction of phase II of terminal II at the Port of Mombasa.

“We are putting more investments, not withdrawing. In fact, we are creating more jobs. We are even building more terminals. We completed and launched terminal II phase I last year. We are actually doing phase II with the support of Japanese government in the next one year,’’ Mr Macharia said.

The CS said it was not practically possible to move the Mombasa port because Naivasha does not have access to the sea.

His Principal Secretary Paul Maringa said the Naivasha dry port will compliment and decongest Mombasa port. “If you have a congested port because of limited evacuation, then you kill the port because you excessively delay cargo. Clients have a choice to reroute it where it is more efficient,” he said.

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