The government on Thursday shut down two container freight stations belonging to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s family.
The closure follows a letter from the Kenya Ports Authority to the stations’ management notifying them that they would not be allowed to receive cargo from the harbour.
“It has been decided that nomination of containers to your CFS be suspended with immediate effect,” KRA Managing Director Gichiri Ndua said in the letter dated January 21, without giving any reason for the action.
Asked to confirm his family’s interests in the firms, Governor Joho said. “It’s true lakini hatuna wasi wasi (we’re not panicking.) God is with us. Clearly they’ve started fighting us. We expected this but they can even close our homes. Strangely it’s only our stations they closed.. God is with us.”
Importers protested the closure saying the action was illegal since they were not given notice to clear their cargo.
Association of Importers of Kenya Chairman Peter Mambembe said the closure of Autoports Freight Terminals Limited and Portside Freight Terminals was unprocedural, and asked the taxman to immediately open the facilities so that importers can collect their goods.
Clearing agents and more than 600 workers were shocked to find the gates secured with padlocks.