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Uhuru Kenyatta says won't privatize Mombasa Port

20 March 2013, 13:12

Mombasa - Kenya's President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday assured the country that the Mombasa Port will not be privatized.

Kenyatta, who was accompanied by his deputy William Ruto on a tour of the port, said his government will focus on ensuring that the port operates efficiently for the benefit of all Kenyans.

"There is no intention of privatizing this port. It belongs to Kenyans and we want it to remain that way. What we will do is to improve its efficiency and effectiveness to make it a world-class facility that we will all be proud of," said Kenyatta who was on a familiarization tour of the facility.

The Mombasa-based port facility is the best equipped on the East African coast being the second largest port in terms of tonnage and containers handled after Durban.

It serves the hinterland markets of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Tanzania, Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.  

The regional port says plans are also at an advanced stage for the development of a free port on 3,000 acres area through a public-private partnership arrangement.

Tenders for Expression of interest (EOI) for consultancy services for the feasibility study have been advertised and evaluated.

The design of the road by-pass to link the project area and Mombasa-Lunga Lunga Road is ready.

The multi-billion project could turn Mombasa into a commercial hub similar to Dubai and encourage local and foreign direct investment, promote trade, and support value addition activities.

Cargo passing through the port of Mombasa has grown significantly from 9.13 million tones in 2000 to 19.93 million tones last year, an increase of 7.4 percent per annum.

During the tour, Kenyatta appealed to all port stakeholders to work towards the smooth operations of the facility, saying it was unfortunate that it took up to seven days to clear goods from the port while the same took only a few hours in other countries.

The president-elect also emphasized on the need for all Kenyans to uphold the rule of law at all times and urged those who had issues with the outcome of the just concluded general elections to await the judgment of the court instead of issuing utterances that could only serve to raise political temperatures.

"Kenyans are tired of endless politicking. They want an improved economy that will guarantee efficient delivery of services and create jobs for the youth not political antics," Kenyatta said.

He added: "People should not concentrate on politics at the expense of the welfare of Kenyans."

The President-elect reiterated his call to all Kenyans to maintain peace, saying the country cannot sustain the development momentum in the absence of peace and stability.

- Xinhua


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