President Uhuru Kenyatta has been accused of surreptitiously auctioning the ports of Lamu, Mombasa, and Kisumu to foreigners.
In a statement, deputy president William Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza claimed that the outgoing head of state drafted the agreement to auction the ports during his covert trips to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the final agreement being signed at Raila Odinga’s birthday party in Mombasa.
According to the alliance, Uhuru approved the agreement that will see the Dubai-based corporation take over management of the three ports.
“Today, we reveal to Kenyans a clandestine plot by the outgoing Handshake Government of Uhuru and Raila to illegally mortgage our Ports of Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu, to a foreign country,” the statement reads in part.
“In a secret deal under the guise of an Economic Cooperation Agreement with the United Arab Emirates, and which epitomizes grand corruption; Uhuru has assented to a rip-off that will see a foreign privately registered entity – Dubai Port World FZE – take over these key national infrastructural assets.
“Indeed, why would a government with only less than five weeks to leave office hurriedly and secretly auction the operations, development, redevelopment and management of all our ports to a foreign entity?” they posed.
The alliance challenged the Uhuru-led administration to defend the risky transfer of Kenyan assets to a foreign power so as to advance his personal interests.
“Under the ill-disguised Economic Cooperation Agreement supposedly signed on March 1, 2022, by the CS Treasury, Ukur Yatani, Kenya will cede ownership and control of not only the three ports but also supporting infrastructure at the ports and in the hinterland,” they stated.
The Kenya Kwanza coalition dared the president to disclose any process and procedure used to create the arrangement under the Public-Private Partnership Act (PPP), which they claimed are riddled with legal issues.
One of the issues brought up by the alliance is the lack of public participation, which suggests that the agreement was quickly reached by a small number of government.
They added that the agreement was against the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, which stipulates that such contracts must be open, competitive, reasonable in price, and equitable. Furthermore, county governments, the Cabinet, and Parliament should be involved in such agreements.
Uhuru Government Auctions Kenyan Ports In Breach Of The Constitution. pic.twitter.com/rf0Zz1SzBs
— Musalia W Mudavadi (@MusaliaMudavadi) June 29, 2022
Kenya Kwanza also questioned the legitimacy of the Dubai-based company and urged the government to provide information on the owners of the company, the price of the transaction, and other applicants for the same tender.
“Kenyans must also know whether the procurement of the company was a government-to-government agreement and, if so, why section 4(2)(f) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 did not apply.
“From the shortcuts, we have exposed; the auction of our ports looks like corruption, it is swimming like corruption, it is shouting corruption, and it is certainly corruption.”