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Mombasa governor Abdulswamad Nassir blasts move to privatize port

Mombasa County Governor Abdulswamad Nassir has opposed plans to privatize some operations at the Port of Mombasa.

Speaking at the Azimio People’s Baraza in Mombasa, the county boss stressed the people of Mombasa should be the direct beneficiaries of the port’s operations and warned against any attempts to privatize it.

“Just because I am not in parliament does not mean I don’t know what is going on…I hear they want to privatize the port and benefit personally from it. I am the Governor, and I want to give a warning to those discussing the privatization of the port and tell them it belongs to the people of Mombasa,” he explained.

He further called on the national government to prioritize pressing issues such as the drug menace in the region instead of focusing on a few individuals in the country. He demanded the police crack down on illegal drugs in Mombasa, which he described as bigger problem than banditry.

“Mombasa has become a danger zone for illegal drugs, we want to dare the government and the police to arrest the people involved in this menace, arrest the people destroying our children,” He said.

The county boss also expressed concerns about the country’s direction, saying leaders have a responsibility to restore Kenya’s reputation as the face of East Africa. He added that it was unacceptable that the country’s shilling was losing its value to other currencies and urged people to speak up.

“There is no way we are going to keep quiet and we are seeing our country going wayward, nobody wants bloodshed but we are going to speak up,” He said.

The proposed plans to privatize some of the container handling operations at the Port of Mombasa have sparked a division between government officials and coastal leaders. In 2019, efforts to privatize the KSh30 billion Container Terminal Two at the port were deemed unconstitutional by the High Court.

Mombasa port is among the most popular and influential ports in Africa. It currently serves trade interests of a number of countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.

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