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Squatters invade land set for proposed free trade zone

By | January 28th 2010

By Patrick Beja

Proposed land for the Dongo Kundu free trade zone has been invaded by squatters, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has said.

The Dongo Kundu project will include a fixed by-pass linking up south Coast with Miritini in Mombasa west.

KPA Managing Director James Mulewa told the Coast Province Investment Conference in Mombasa that the invasion was a threat to investment. Earlier, Prime Minister Raila Odinga had said the Dongo Kundu project was the Government’s priority at the Coast, although it was focusing on developing Kenya’s second principal port in Lamu District.

Mulewa noted that once the southern by-pass is constructed, there would be investment opportunities at Dongo Kundu.They include free trade zones, industrial activities and other port related investments.

Meanwhile, a port and shipping management expert Stanley Chai has called for the scrapping of the KPA Act to allow for competition in the management of seaports.

No competition

Speaking at the conference, Chai, a member of the Institute of Shipbrokers Kenya chapter, said seaports in the country are under KPA and there was no way the state corporation could allow for competition.

"We should bring in a new Act and a seaports licensing board to allow investors and operators into the port industry," said Chai.

In a paper titled "Efficient port services to encourage investments", he said a break of the KPA monopoly would ensure development of well-equipped seaports.

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