Efforts to privatize the KSh30 billion Container Terminal Two at the Port of Mombasa have been slashed after the High Court deemed the procedure unconstitutional.
In the ruling, the judges cited that the amendments to section 16 (1) (a) of the Merchant Shipping Act were null and void.
“We have found that the enactment of section 16 (1) (a) was unconstitutional and impugned. Even if our finding was to the contrary, the said section 16 of the Merchant Shipping Act would have run into loss because it is retrospective,” said Justice Ogola.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure had initially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) that would see Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) run the KSh30 billion terminal.
However, the judges found there was no public participation in amending the impugned section 16 of the Act.
According to Dock Workers Union lawyer Ochieng Oginga, the government had secretly negotiated an MoU with a foreign private company (MSC) over operations and management of the terminal, a move that would result in loss of jobs for the Mombasa residents.