Captain William Ruto (right) with KPA workers during his unveiling as the new Managing Director on March 13, 2023. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

Major management changes are in the offing at Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) following Monday's unveiling of the new Managing Director, Captain William Ruto.

In a sign of what lies ahead, Ruto used his maiden speech to the workers to tell the new board chairman Benjamin Tayari to keep off the day-to-day running of the port.

Tayari, former Kinango MP, defended the board's decision in picking Captain Ruto saying he emerged top from among those who applied for the job.

"We did not give Captain Ruto the job on the tribal line but on merit because he deserves it. He is qualified and has the experience needed for the job," said Tayari.

There has been confusion in the past over the role of some KPA chairmen, who decided to operate from the parastatal headquarters and ended up usurping executive powers which ideally belong to the Managing Director.

On Monday, Ruto said that the new board chairman would be required to deal with issues above operations and workers' welfare which include national politics on port business which happen outside port headquarters.

In recent months, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has said that the structure of management at KPA will be changed which will see some General Managers' posts scrapped.

The CS had promised that the changes will be made once the MD has been appointed. KPA has not had a substantive MD since the sudden resignation of Dr Daniel Manduku three years ago.

"I want to ask you chairman to deal with politicians when it comes to matters of the port but leave matters touching on the workers to me to deal with", said Ruto.

Ruto said he would not revenge against anyone who may have wronged him in the course of his work at the port some years back.

The MD, who is expected to bring radical changes in the port will most certainly trim a blotted top management posts.

He, on Monday, assured his colleagues who competed for the job that he will work with them amicably.

"I have forgiven those who wronged me in the course of my work in the port and I expect those I rubbed the wrong way also to forgive me so that we start a new chapter in steering the port to greater heights," said Captain Ruto.

Addressing KPA workers and port stakeholders who had thronged KPA headquarters at Kipevu, Ruto promised to address workers' grievances within the shortest time possible.

Most employees said that they have been frustrated for three years and now anchored their hope on Ruto.

Contractors and clearing agents, joined KPA workers to celebrate the appointment of Ruto as the MD assured him of their support.

Paul Moiben said they were relieved because they now have an MD who understands the frustration contractors and clearing agents have been undergoing at the port.

"We have not been delivering in the port because KPA workers are not motivated. In some cases, the goods which are supposed to be offloaded for a day take four days. However, we hope the new MD will allow overtime to motivate the workers," said Moiben.

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