Okoa Mombasa Coalition has demanded transparency in the Standard Gauge Railway and Container terminal 2 contracts.
The coalition says there are hidden economic, social, cultural, and environmental dangers, which the government is working hard to conceal from the public.
In Kenya, for instance, the law compels the State to publish and publicize any important information affecting the nation, such as multi-billion infrastructural contracts.
But the State is yet to comply.
‘Okoa Mombasa Coalition’ which MUHURI is a member, has filed an access to information request for the certified copies of contracts and documents relating to the construction and operation of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Container Terminal Two (CT2) at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
The government built Sh 324.01 billion SGR and Sh27.3 billion CT2 using loans from China Exim Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, respectively.
“These loans are being serviced by the taxpayers who ought to know the content of what the government signed for,” MUHURI Chairman Khelef Khalifa said on Thursday in Mombasa.
The Coalition sent the request on December 17 to Principal Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing, Urban Development, and Public Works, and Managing Directors at KPA and Kenya Railways as well as the Attorney General.
[MUHURI, Dork Workers Union and Judiciary officials on official tour of the CT2. Photo/courtesy/MUHURI].
Also addressed are the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director-General and the Registrar General at State Law Office.
These officials have 21 days to respond.
“If they fail, we will take them to court,” Khalifa said.
The request letter, which Khalifa signed, asked for the details of the agreement between the government and Africa Star Railway Operation Company Ltd, which runs SGR at Sh1.3 billion monthly.
Kenya signed a secret agreement with the Chinese allowing this mystery company – commonly referred to as “special purpose operating company” – with unknown local shareholders, to run the train.
Kenya Transporters Association CEO Dennis Ombok said relevant government officials must provide details of registration of the company.
“This should include particulars of registration, details of all shareholders, and the proportion of shareholding for each shareholder,” Ombok said.
The Coalition also asked for a Memorandum of Understanding between Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) for the management of CT2.
Fast Action Summit member Mesh Abdul, also a Member of the Coalition said such access should include all annexures and associated documents.
[Activists protests SGR, CT2 terminal. Photo/courtesy/MUHURI].
CT2 deal will privatize the terminal, and render thousands of port workers jobless, Dock Workers’ Union (DWU) has said.
In October this year, Mombasa high court stopped the privatization process saying supporting law was unconstitutional.
DWU, MUHURI and Taireni Association of Mijikenda had sued to stop privatisation.
The court noted the government was yet to publish the agreement between MSC and KNSL.