President William Ruto has refuted assertions from a segment of the political community that the government intends to privatize Mombasa Port. Speaking at the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) National Governing Council meeting at the Bomas of Kenya, he reassured the people of Mombasa that such a move would not occur during his tenure.
“I conveyed to the residents of Mombasa that plans to privatize Mombasa Port will not be implemented while our government is in power. I also assured them that upon taking office, we immediately returned port operations to Mombasa, as promised,” he stated.
Rather than privatization, the President announced that his administration is focused on expanding the port to enhance its capacity and provide job opportunities for local youth. He emphasized that Mombasa Port has the potential to serve not only Kenya but also neighboring countries in the region, thereby contributing to economic growth.
To achieve this expansion, President Ruto acknowledged that the government would collaborate with the private sector but dismissed concerns that this would lead to the complete privatization of the port.
“What I want to emphasize is that we aim to expand the port efficiently, creating more room for job creation and wealth generation. The port is capable of serving South Sudan, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. We intend to expand it sensibly, working in partnership with the private sector, while ensuring that the port itself remains publicly owned. I want everyone to be clear on this,” he clarified.
President Ruto’s statements come in response to opposition criticism, led by Raila Odinga, regarding the alleged privatization plans for Mombasa Port. Odinga expressed concerns about the lack of public participation and the involvement of the County Government of Mombasa in the privatization process, demanding transparency and open engagement in the management of public assets.