MPs push for release of goods held at Mombasa port

The port of Mombasa. Two people have been charged over the theft of containers at the port /FILE

Nairobi, KENYA: A section of members of parliament want the government to release goods worth sh.12 billion being held at the port of Mombasa.

In a press briefing at parliament buildings, the MPs, led by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and Nyandarua women representative Catherine Waruguru, said that the goods ought to be released.

“As agreed previously between the government and traders, containers held at the port must be released unconditionally. Some of the containers have been lying there at the port for months now. Over sh.12 billion worth of goods are being held,” Nyoro said

Their cry comes a few days after the end of a 14 days ultimatum issued by the government for the clearance of goods at the Mombasa port.

Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya had issued the ultimatum at the end of last month.

“Waiver of storage charges for all cleared goods for a period of 14 days with effect from 29 September 2018. Any containers not cleared within this period will be auctioned or destroyed,” Munya said.

However, the MPs said “no government arm should auction any of the containers before a fair settlement is made between the government of Kenya (GOK) and affected Kenyans.”

They also urged the government to annul trading licences issued to foreigners who engage in businesses which can be undertaken effectively by locals.

They also urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and CS Peter Munya to formulate strategies which will safeguard local businesses especially small traders, in a bid to help in developing the country.