Uhuru sacks KFS Board

One of the ferries ferrying people along the Likoni Ferry Channel. Some ferries have a problem as their prows always face down when ferrying people. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has revoked the appointment of the chairman and four board members of the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS), a few hours to the start of his Coast tour today.

The ferry service has been in the spotlight following the September 29 tragedy at the Likoni Channel where a mother and her daughter died.

Mariam Kighenda, 35, and her daughter Amanda, 4, died when their vehicle slipped from MV Harambee into the Indian Ocean as the ferry was crossing the channel.

The bodies were retrieved on Friday last week.

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Investigations are under way and several employees who were in charge of the vessel on the day the tragedy happened have been interrogated.

Yesterday, President Kenyatta invoked Section 7(3) of the State Corporations Act to dismiss KFS board chairman Dan Mwazo and board members Daula Omar, Naima Amir, Philip Ndolo and Rosina Nasigha Mruttu.

The sackings were announced in a Kenya Gazette notice dated October 17, 2019. 

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Mwazo, who in the initial days of the tragedy gave regular press briefings on the search for the car and bodies, was appointed to chair the board four months ago. He  replaced former Changamwe MP Ramadhan Seif Kajembe.

Last month’s tragedy exposed a number of weaknesses in the State agencies that took part in the search and recovery efforts.

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Reports indicated that KFS, the Kenya Navy, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Coast Guard lacked crucial search and rescue equipment.

Lack of divers

It also emerged that the newly established Kenya Coast Guard Service lacked divers to conduct deep sea search operations.

The tragedy also exposed disjointed co-ordination that has in the past also dogged State agencies.

Yesterday, Uhuru also made several appointments. 

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Prof Losenge Turop takes up chairmanship of Uwezo Fund Oversight Board, while Njoki Kahiga will chair the Women Enterprise Fund Advisory Board.

Lt Gen (rtd) Joseph Kasaon will be at the helm of  the Kenya Meat Commission, while Dr Robert Monda becomes the non-executive chairperson of the Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council.

Dr Victor Mwongera was picked to be a non-executive chair of The Youth Enterprise Fund while Ochieng Mbeo will chair the Kenya Fish Marketing Authority board.

John Njiraini will chair the board of Geothermal Development Company after the appointment of Gershom Otachi was revoked.

Mashujaa Day celebrations

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Meanwhile, the President arrived in Mombasa yesterday ahead of a busy schedule starting today, that will culminate in Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20 at Mama Ngina Drive.

Uhuru landed at the Moi International Airport at around 4pm and was later driven to State House through Kilindini Port and Moi Avenue. He waved at the residents who had lined the streets to see him.

Uhuru is expected to officially launch Associated Vehicle Assemblers’s new Toyota brand assembled at the facility following revival of the plant.

On Mashujaa Day, he is also expected to open the new-look Mama Ngina recreational facility overlooking the Indian Ocean.

On Monday, Uhuru is expected to launch phase one of Lamu Port when the first ship is expected make a maiden berthing.

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KFSUhuru KenyattaMariam KighendaMV HarambeeDan Mwazo