Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday said essential operations have been returned to the port of Mombasa in line with a campaign promise by the Kenya Kwanza administration.
President William Ruto had promised that if elected, port operations previously moved inland to Naivasha would be taken back to Mombasa. Following this pledge, The President issued an order to enforce this pledge on the first day in office in September.
While opening the 2022 Mombasa International Show on Thursday, the Deputy President said they had kept their word and the port as well as the sea side city were slowly returning to their strength.
“The President issued the order on the first day in office and I confirm the operations are now back in Mombasa,” Gachagua said.
He said the Kenya Kwanza administration will always protect the stature of the port saying it was a national resource that not only benefits the coastal region but the whole nation.
Since the operations including the critical clearing and forwarding were taken to Naivasha, local leaders had been urging the previous administration to reverse the initial decisions that took operations out of Mombasa.
Deputy President Gachagua, who revealed he would be back to the coast soon to tour the port, said their administration will always stand firm in defence of the rights of all citizens including those living in the coastal region.
“The port belongs to all Kenyans not some few individuals. We thank the Kenya Ports of Authority Board of Directors for standing against attempts to fully transfer the operations,” the DP said.
He said Ruto’s Government was keen on working with the residents and that a number of senior positions including those of Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaires and key Parliamentary positions had been given to leaders from the region.
Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir also confirmed clearing and forwarding activities were back to the coastal city.
“I had a meeting with port officials on Wednesday and I can confirm that indeed port operations are back to our city. We are grateful to the Government for ensuring this happened,” he said.
The Mombasa International Show, organized by the Agricultural Society of Kenya, was held at Mkomani Showground in Nyali. It was making a return after a three-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s theme for the show which ends on Sunday is “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade”.
The Deputy President also encouraged coastal residents to take advantage of the Government plan to boost aquaculture, a sector he said remained largely untapped.
He said the new State Department for the Blue Economy and Fisheries will drive the development of the sector which supports over 2 million people.
“Aquaculture alone has a potential area of 1.4 million hectares suitable for fish farming and is capable of producing over 750,000 Metric Tonnes valued at KES 250 billion.
Despite this enormous potential, only 2,105.1 Hectares of land is under aquaculture,” he said.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi, counterparts Salim Mvurya (Mining) and Aisha Jumwa (Public Service and Gender) were present.