Mombasa, KENYA: Kenya Maritime Authority KMA has said the authority does not have powers to ensure a number of jobs set aside for Kenyan seafarers in shipping lines registered in Kenya for now.
Speaking to Baraka FM on Friday, Amos Cherop the Acting Director at KMA said for now the country operates on a closed register and plans are under way to ensure that it changes to open register, where shipping lines will operate under employment rules in the country that will ensure they hire a certain number of Kenyan seafarers in their ships.
Job opportunities being the most chronic problem facing the Kenyan seafarer, the Union of Kenya Seafarers has claimed that most jobs are given to foreigners and that seafaring is yet to be recognized as a proffesion in the country.
Mohamed Oweso a seafarer in Mombasa claims that he was trained by the government before the birth of KMA and worked as a seafarer for many years, has expressed his disappointment in the industry that was once the hub of job opportunities along the coast of Mombasa.
The authority is currently re-regestering seafarers who hold previous certification to enable them get jobs in foreign ships, and has made suggestions to the county government as it plans the county budget; to set aside an amount to train seafarers who do not have some qualifications that will enable them secure jobs.
He also noted that the authority has only registered and certified 1,384 seafarers as more graduates from the Bandari college and other colleges and universities worldwide.
Kenya will not have nationswide celebrations of the seafarers day on Saturday June 25th as expected said Cherop.
The authority is however holding a dinner where they will come together with the seafarers in Kenya and discuss issues in the Maritime field.