Kenya 2022: Who’s to blame for Mombasa port’s demise?

By Jeff Otieno
Posted on Thursday, 14 July 2022 14:12

A container ship is seen as its docked next to cranes at the port of Mombasa
A container ship is seen as its docked next to cranes at the port of Mombasa, Kenya, October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The scramble for Kenya’s coastal votes has turned into a dogfight over the deteriorating status of the Mombasa port with rival politicians in Raila Odinga’s Azimio coalition party and William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza alliance exposing each other’s role in the mess. Who will the 1.8 million voters believe as port politics get nastier?

In 2017, a section of Mombasa county leaders cried foul over the construction of an inland dry port in the Rift Valley arguing that the move was meant to cripple the coastal town’s economy.

Led by Governor Hassan Joho, the leaders vowed to fight the project, accusing the top leadership of the ruling Jubilee Party of planning to transfer port services from Mombasa to Naivasha.