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Questions Raised After Governor Joho's Private Company Wins a Multibillion Government Tender

A file photo of president Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa county Governor Ali Hassan Joho.

A private company affiliated with the family of Governor Ali Hassan Joho has finally taken over the reins of a Nairobi freight forwarder built with public funds through a controversial contract with stakeholders in the industry complaining against the move.

The Mombasa-based company, Autoport Freight Terminals Ltd, has been approved by Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) to operate on its own Nairobi Freight Terminals (NFT), adjacent to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Syokimau station, blocking other operators using freight services through that new railway.

Through a notice to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) dated 17 requesting a nomination to transport cargo through NFT station at M / S Autoports Freight, the company's reduced fee 2018 will begin handling all container and regular cargo from October this year. this.

“KPA has received a request from the KRC to provide you with official communication to allow freight forwarders and / or freight forwarders from the loading station to the KR Nairobi Freight Terminal (NFT). The station will be operated by the M / S Autoports Freight Terminal (AFT) and connected to the SGR railway. This move will allow more importers to use SGR, ”said a section of the notice from KPA Acting Director John Mwangemi, addressed to Kenya Shipping Agent Association Director Juma Tellah.

According to the notice, importers will be required to approve the Unloading Bill at the NFT Autoports Freight Terminal-Nairobi so that their goods can be transported to Nairobi by the company affiliated with Mr Joho.

In an official notice, Mr Mwangemi said NFT has the capacity to handle container and conventional cargo, has a depot and a modern container handling facility, as well as the facility will accommodate government cargo agencies such as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). ) and the Quality Assurance Body (KBS).

He said the NFT is expected to start operations in October 2021 a move that will give Mr Joho's company closer to the full monopoly of its competitors.

"From a higher level, the authorities have no objection to KR's request for importers to appoint directly as well as to change the freight forwarder to NFT," said Mr Mwangemi.

Even before the order was implemented, stakeholders in the shipping sector have complained that the government will not only lose revenue, but the move will also worry traders, some of whom have long-term contracts with other shipping companies.

The chairman of the Coalition for Container Transportation Centers in the Country (CFSs) Daniel Nzeki, said the move was contrary to what they were advocating, stressing that they would advocate for greater equality in the sector.

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Ali Hassan Joho Autoport Freight Terminals Ltd KPA Kenya Ports Authority SGR


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