Bitter tenderpreneurs who had wanted to cash in on a plan to buy land at Nairobi’s Inland Container Terminal have waged an all-out war against the board and management of Kenya Ports Authority, the cartel bitter with the cancellation of the lucrative KSh3 billion project.
Also cited as reason for the bitter war is the ongoing tender for concrete works at the Mombasa, Nairobi, Kisumu and Lamu ports.
According to a report obtained by Kurunzi on the concrete barriers, KPA requires up to 33,000 blocks for all its facilities, 19,000 of which have already been procured and works are ongoing.
“Misleading” reports by a section of the media suggest the blocks ordered exceed the required number.
Our source says they want to use the false barriers narrative to raise stakes for KPA managers to be removed for them to continue their “wanton looting”.
The decision to cancel the tender was made following an agreement between KPA and sister state parastatal – Kenya Railways, who offered land for lease at Makongeni. This was a decision of a multi-sectoral meeting where several government agencies, including the Directorate of Criminal Investigations were involved.
Kurunzi understands that, contrary to reports in a section of the media that KRC did not give the nod for KPA to clear the area for port activities, it is actually KRC that confirmed during the meeting that the land was available for lease.
The meeting was held at the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi was was chaired by a Mr Hunda from the Ministry of transport, with representatives Fromm KRC, KPA, KEPSA.
A source has told Kurunzi Makongeni area was declared a port zone after the meeting after which a KRC offered a lease to KPA.
A special issue Gazette Notice was published on 30 October 2018, declaring the Makongeni KPA peripheral facility a port for purposes of entries and exits, rail lines for container wagons of imports to the storage yard and goods shed, storage of containerized cargo, examination of goods and scanning of cargo.
“The land was availed but it was not fit-for-purpose so it was imperative that works are undertaken to make the area fit for port operations,” the source told Kurunzi.
“This latest narrative is being created by those who had started salivating over the KSh3 billion initially budgeted for buying the land which was cancelled because there was no need to purchase land when KRC had offered its parcel.”
The source explained that KPA and KRC are interdependent and therefore it was mischievous for someone to suggest there was bad blood between the two state agencies.
“If anything both Managing Directors sit on the boards so this is just a narrative being fronted by cartels to cause ripples where there are none,” the sourced clarified.
The project was done at a cost of KSh500 million “meaning there was a saving of” KSh1.5 billion and is currently handling cargo, a fact that has partly enhanced cargo evacuation and decongested the ICD.
He accuses the media of being biased in their reports, saying the print media articles have not given a confirmation of KRC complaining about the land yet they had been furnished with the Gazette Notice that declared the Makongeni land a port zone.
“KRC have never complained about the land as it is being suggested and that is the correct position of things so those bitter cartels waging war against the management and board are fighting a losing battle.”
KPA MD Daniel Manduku has maintained tender wars are the main reason why the port has been receiving adverse publicity, cartels fighting him saying he is the stumbling block to the ‘eating’ culture the mercenaries had been used to.
Since his appointment in May 2018, at least 22 tenders have been cancelled for various reasons which is reason for the vicious war against KPA managers.
The total worth of the tenders is estimated at over KSh20 billion.
The blocks are important in port operations for guiding traffic flow through the operational areas, protecting dangerous or risky areas from customer trucks and ordinary traffic and shielding other installations, including buildings, electrical tower lights, utility lines, scanning systems and sub stations, among other functions.
The barriers are also significant infrastructure for isolating construction sites from ordinary traffic at the port areas.
“The total area that needs the barriers is about 32 kilometres because they are supposed to be erected on both sides of the distance in question,” explained the source, saying Mombasa port alone is eight kilometres long.
“It means in Mombasa, you have to cover 16 kilometres which is equivalent to 16,000 metres and one barrier is 1.2 metres so one just needs to do their calculation to see how many would be needed.
“Clearly, there is still a deficit of at least 12,000 blocks so the people peddling lies about this project are clearly ignorant and should be ignored.”