Recent appointments of various managers to head institutions that are maritime and blue economy based have sparked fury from a section of Coast senators.
The senators have threatened litigation to compel the government to revoke them on account of illegality and ethnic bias.
Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and his Mombasa counterpart Mohammed Faki accused the government of fanning tribalism through unconstitutional appointments, they said have a clear bias against the Coastal communities.
Of particular concern are the appointments of Kenya Fisheries Services Director General, Daniel Ndung’u Mungai, his Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) counterpart Mutegi Njue, and Bandari Maritime Academy Chief Executive Officer Francis Muraya among other key positions.
“We the Members of parliament from the Coast region are not happy with these appointments because they have tribal inclination and they do not in any way reflect regional balance as required by the law,” said Madzayo.
According to the senators, for such bodies to operate efficiently, they must be led by managers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience on marine and maritime affairs.
They pointed out that the Coast region is endowed with people with such qualities yet they have always been side-lined over the years.
“When you take the case of appointment of KMA Director General, it is clear there was outright favouritism because candidates who emerged in the top three positions from the interviews were left out in favour of the one who emerged fourth. This is in spite that those who emerged in top two were people with strong background and knowledge on maritime affairs and were people from Coast,” said Faki.
He expressed concerns that it was clear Muslims and the Mijikenda communities were left out in all the appointments.
The senators observed that while going for the post, the newly appointed KMA Director General defended his application by saying he worked with Kenya Wildlife Service but never mentioned a maritime background which was one of the key requirements for the post.
At the same time, they were of the view that the fact that appointments of substantive Managing Director of the Kenya Ports Authority was stopped while other corporations like Kenya Railways and Kenya Pipeline have their substantive MDs is a clear indication that there is a bias against Coast.
They accused Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia of being behind the ‘unconstitutional appointments’ saying the CS should be held accountable for ‘all the mess’
“What disturbs most is that you can only find this happening in Coast based government parastatals and not anywhere else. If this is not rectified, we will go to court to ensure the appointments are revoked because the constitution of Kenya clearly advocates for regional balance said Faki