Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday said essential operations have been returned to the port of Mombasa in line with a promise they made during the campaigns.
President William Ruto had promised to ensure the port was back to its former glory if elected and he issued an order to enforce this 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 was regaining its strength once again.
“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 beseeching the Government to act fast and ensure the reversal of the transfer.
Gachagua, who revealed he will be back soon to tour the port, said they would 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 saying a number of senior positions including Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and key Parliamentary positions had been handed 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 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.
The theme of 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 revealed had yet to be properly exploited.
He said the new State Department for the Blue Economy and Fisheries will drive the development of the sector adding it supported 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.