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Nairobi clearing and forwarding agents protest KPA “undocumented levy”

By Sigomba Ramadhan Omar | February 18th 2020

Ochieng’ Achondo, chairman representing the clearing and forwarding agents at Inland Container Deport Nairobi addressing the press at Standard Media Group Headquarters on February 18 2020. [Standard]

Clearing and forwarding agents based at Inland Container Deport Nairobi, Tuesday protested the introduction of undocumented levy on goods they clear from the Kenya Ports Authority.

The agents staged the demonstrations at the headquarters of the Standard Group, Mombasa Road, against what they termed as interference by cartels.

According to the chairman representing the agents Ochieng’ Achondo, KPA introduced an extra levy it called verification charges on Saturday which vary from Sh8000 to Sh12000 per container.

“KPA has decided to introduce extra charges that have not been there ever since the authority started,” he said.

The agents claim the extra charges are being channelled to a private account which they suspect to belong to an individual.

Upon questioning the move, they were told that the charges are used to pay off an unidentified contractor, said Mr Achondo.

Six agents met KPA management Monday where it was agreed to suspend the verification charges until all stakeholders are involved.

However, on Tuesday the charges were still in effect. They were told by the management that they had no option but comply with the new orders.

“The management told us to take our cargo to Tanzania for clearing if we cannot pay the new charges. Hii ni madharau gani,” said one of the agents.

Achondo also claimed that KPA management had illegally ended a contract of people who were tasked with stuffing and de-stuffing of containers with the tender being awarded to a private contractor.

According to him, the agents are the one who initiated the employment of the people who have done the job since 2018.

“KPA wameona hiyo pesa inafaidi hao vijana. Wameona hiyo pesa kumbe ni nyingi sasa wamechukua hiyo contract ya hao viijana wamepatia mtu mwengine prvate,” said Achondo.

They are suspecting that KPA directors are the ones running private firms.

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