Coast leaders want 247 Kenya Ports Authority workers rehired

Mombasa leaders marked Labour Day celebrations yesterday by renewing onslaught against the government and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

Led by Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho, they demanded changes in port management claiming the port had refused to rehire 247 workers fired after a workers’ strike in 2011.

“KPA is operating as if it is another county. We can’t have a 48th county operating inside Mombasa. The port is the biggest asset in Mombasa County and it should contribute to our people’s economic growth including providing jobs for our youths,” said Joho yesterday during the Labour Day celebrations at Mombasa County Stadium.

They also criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta over the recent parastatal appointments.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir criticised President Kenyatta for “recycling people who worked with my late father.”

“We cannot allow or blindly cheer on the president when he has decided to appoint old people who worked with (Shariff) Nassir when we have capable and qualified youths,” said Abdulswamad.

He also blasted KPA for failing to reinstate the 247 employees laid off in 2011.

 Abdulswamad claimed that suspended Transport Cabinet Secretary Joseph Kamau had written a letter saying the said employees would be employed but KPA management has not re-hired them.

Nyali MP Hezron Awiti however differed with them saying the port was a national asset.

Earlier in the celebrations, a section of youths shouted against Awiti over the killer lead factory in Owino Uhuru slums.

Mombasa County MP Mishi Mboko said all parties responsible for allowing the plant to operate and maintain safety regulations should be investigated and prosecuted over this matter.