In Summary
  • Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the directive to transport all imports using SGR was suspended only two days after it was issued.
  • He said that the SGR has capacity to transport a maximum of 10 million tonnes against 32 million tonnes handled by the port annually.

Chaos rocked Mombasa on Monday morning as police thwarted a protest by demonstrators, who have been pushing the government to allow transporters carry and nominate cargo at the Mombasa port.

The protest happened despite the government announcing that it had suspended an order directing all cargo be transported via the standard gauge railway (SGR).

But transporters said they had been denied access to the port of Mombasa.

When contacted, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) General Manager Operations Captain William Ruto said the trucks have been allowed into the port to pick cargo, dismissing the claims by the transporters’ association.

“We deal with consignees and importers and they have been coming into the port since Friday to pick up their cargo. We don’t understand what facts these associations are using to base their claims that we’ve denied them entry,” Mr Ruto said. “You can come and verify for yourselves about us allowing trucks in.”

MONOPOLY

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the directive to transport all imports using SGR was suspended only two days after it was issued, and that “nothing had changed” at the port.

“On average, 35 per cent of goods from the port are being transported by SGR and 65 per cent by trucks,” Mr Macharia told Nation on Monday.

He blamed the protests on politics, saying the SGR has capacity to transport a maximum of 10 million tonnes against 32 million tonnes handled by the port annually.

“There’s business for everybody at the port, and it’s wrong for anyone to claim that SGR is ferrying 100 per cent of cargo. This is not possible,” he said.

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