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Award of Lapsset scholarships faulted

By PATRICK BEJA | December 19th 2013


Mombasa, Kenya: A section of MPs in Lamu County have faulted the ongoing recruitment of youths to be trained in readiness for the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor project.

MPs opposed to Governor Issa Timamy crititicised the selection of the first batch of 200 youth, saying they were not consulted.

Lamu East MP Athman Sharif Ali and his Lamu West counterpart Julius Ndegwa claimed the exercise has been politicised and insisted it should be called off.

According to Ali, the earlier list compiled by Lamu Port Stakeholders’ Steering Committee (LPSSC) had been ignored and a repeat exercise commenced without them being consulted.

“The county Public Service Board should recruit workers for Lamu County government and not youth seeking to be trained by the national government,” he argued.

Lamu County Public Service Board chairman Ali Mahmud Mbwarali oversaw the recruitment of the youth at the Lamu port.

Former President Mwai Kibaki had offered Government scholarships for 1,000 youth from Lamu to train on port operations ahead of opening of the Lamu port.

“Elected leaders have been sidelined.The recruitment should have been carried out under the Lamu County Commissioner but it is now under the Lamu County Public Service Board, which answers to the governor,” Ali argued.

He called for dialogue to avoid further wrangles that may derail the project.

Raw deal

Mr Ndegwa said they were consulting to see whether the new list should be cancelled since it had caused controversy.

“We are unhappy with what is happening. It would be proper to give Lamu leaders time to consult. Elected leaders, the governor and the county commissioner should have met first and agreed on the way forward,” Ndegwa said.

Chairman of the LPSSC Abdalla Fadhil said he declined to participate in the fresh recruitment because it was likely to give locals a raw deal.

Fadhil, who is a former Lamu county council chairman, said his committee had completed the recruitment of 1,000 youths and forwarded the list to the Lapssrt secretariat.

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