Coast leaders want the government to give Lamu residents priority in the ongoing recruitment exercise for the Multi-billion Lamu Port Southern Sudan Transport Corridor ahead of the official opening next month.
Led by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, Former Lamu Governor Issa Timammy, and woman Rep Captain Ruweida Mohamed, the leaders said it will be unfair if locals will be locked out of the recruitment and the project sits in their area.
Speaking in Lamu the leaders also called on the government to ensure fishermen who were highly affected by the project initiated by the National government.
So far the first three berths of the Lapsset project are complete and President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch them officially in March this year.
Residents have been complaining that the recruitment exercise which is going on has not favored the natives and complained that the 1000 scholarships for the locals are yet to be fulfilled.
Further, the residents complained that the compensation for fishermen has not been done and want it to be done.
Joho said the Jubilee administration must ensure locals are given priority in the recruitment exercise of the Lapsset.
”These are the conditions, I am not the Governor here or MP, but I am a leader from the Coast region and I am telling the Jubilee government to know recruitment of Lapsset my friend don’t you dare employ anywhere else but here in Lamu. The recruitment of Lapsset or the port of Lamu must be done in Lamu and the locals be given priority,” he said.
The ODM deputy party leader said they decided to support BBI because it is about shared prosperity.
He said the government cannot talk of the economy at the national level and forget about the grassroots economy.
On his part, Timamy urged MPs and senators to table the issues of compensation of fishermen in parliament.
He said the court ruled that Lamu fishermen be compensated but to date the process has not been done.
”I am happy we have MPs present so as to take the issue forward,” he said.
Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo who was also present promised to take up the matter of compensation of fishermen to the senate.
”The issue of Lapsset has to be addressed openly without hiding so that the native Lamu people get the jobs at the port,” he said.
Madzayo said even if it means going to the International courts if they are able and have the expertise to follow that route so that locals get justice.
Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki also said they would stand with Lamu people to ensure they get their rights.
”I am a lawyer and retired Judge Madzayo is a lawyer, and all of us will work together even if it will mean going to court, we will stand with Lamu people until justice is done to them,” he said.