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State Owned Agency in the Dark on Terminal Takeover Deal

Peter Musila 2 years ago

The ongoing negotiations between the Government and an Italian firm to take over operations of the country’s second container terminal have left a state shipping agency in the dark.

According to the report submitted to the National Assembly committee on Friday, it emerged that Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) was only involved “at the technical level”.     KSNL boss Joseph Juma said that the Italian firm partly owned the company while the Government signed an MoU with the Italians who only hold 20 per cent of the ailing KNSL.

“The negotiations are between the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), which is the Government side, and MSC given the partnership that they have. I know negotiations are going on restructuring. But it has not devolved to our point as KNSL,” Mr Juma told the committee.

The Public Investments have raised concerns over the deal having that it is bound to kill KPA operations.

The controversy on the takeover has been escalated by proposed changes to the law that would allow Transport Cabinet secretary to circumvent a provision in the Act; barring a shipping line from running a container terminal. The changes are contained in the Statute Amendment Bill, 2019.

The state is on the other hand pushing for the takeover arguing that it is set to revive the debt-ridden KNSL and create jobs. However, the MPs rejected the deal.

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