The acting Managing Director of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Catherine Mturi-Wairi has declared an all-out war on corruption at the country’s seaports.
Wairi said ‘murmurs of corruption’ against port employees were getting louder and promised robust action against graft at the port that served Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday at the KPA boardroom, she said the organisation wanted to improve efficiency levels at the port of Mombasa and other inland ports and the issue of integrity and corruption could not be downplayed.
“We are defining a new dawn in dealing with corruption as we strive to offer efficient services to port users”, she said, while in the company of senior port managers.
KPA has the responsibility to maintain, operate, improve and regulate all scheduled seaports, including principally the Kilindini port at Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi, Shimoni, Kilifi and Vanga on the Indian Ocean coastline.
Wairi said KPA was on a fierce war and was determined to stamp out blatant corruption in all its manifestations to improve efficiency in the port industry.
“The port industry has its fair share of integrity issues and going forward, it would not be business as usual, and I will lead from the front in ensuring that the port is a corruption free zone,” she vowed.
The MD said KPA has engaged cyber security experts to assist in assessing both the technological and operational aspects of security-controls in their business processes and help curb cyber-crime that results in cargo losses.
Three months ago, senior KPA managers were sacked in graft purge, including the immediate former Managing Director, Gichiri Ndua based on a dossier compiled by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and National Intelligence Services (NIS).
Widespread corruption is a serious bottleneck in the customs administration at the ports and a major concern for businesses transporting maritime cargo.
Meanwhile, a new second container terminal at the port of Mombasa has started operations after the contractor recently handed over the 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) capacity terminal.
SOURCE: Kenya News Agency