Raila condemns Uhuru's move to close down Joho family businesses
29 January 2016, 19:59
Nairobi - CORD leader Raila Odinga has launched a scathing attack on the government for allegedly shutting down container freight stations belonging to the family of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho.
The Standard reports that in a strongly-worded statement, Odinga termed the move by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Gichiri Ndua as dictatorial aimed at intimidating the opposition.
“Yesterday (Thursday), the government shut down two container freight stations belonging to Governor Hassan Joho’s family. KPA Managing Director Mr. Gichiri Ndua gave no reasons for closing the facility. It was done through executive fiat,” said Odinga.
This development would not be so worrying if it were not for its echoes of a return of an old order Kenyans are only too familiar with. This is not about the Governor and his businesses but the return of strong arm politics, intimidation and blackmail to fight the Opposition, individuals and communities into surrender.”
Odinga said Joho’s family was targeted due to the Governor’s criticism of the government and President Uhuru Kenyatta during his recent one-month visit of the coast region.
“About a week ago, the Governor of the County of Mombasa Hon. Ali Hassan Joho stood up against the bullying tactics being employed by the national executive particularly to bully Governors from the opposition. This well-intended challenge to the presidency which has the backing of the Constitution, was certainly not received well by the National Executive. Revenge was sure to follow and it has.”
Read also: Uhuru to spend one month working in Central Kenya
The Star reported that the CORD leader said the move echoes of the 1970s and ’80s when businesses were de-registered, slapped with hefty taxes and shut down because the owners were perceived to be anti-government or unwilling to toe government line.
“The shutting down of banks associated with the likes of Andrew Kimani Ngumba in the 1980s and the forced collapse of businesses of Mr. Kenneth Matiba in 1990s comes to mind.”
He faulted the move saying it will frustrate the economy and lead to loss of jobs.
“I appeal to the Jubilee government to accept that Kenya is a multiparty state by law. That is not negotiable. Let Jubilee accept that in a multiparty environment, we can disagree without being disagreeable. Kenyans deserve an explanation on the closure of the two businesses associated with Governor Joho. It is our understanding that the government should create jobs, not kill them.”
He told the government to give an assurance in word and deed that the move by KPA was devoid of malice. On Thursday, two container freights stations, Auto Port and Port Side, belonging to Governor Joho’s brother Ali Hassan Joho, were shut down following a letter from KPA to the station managers dated January 21st.