Joho an ‘academic dwarf’ who can’t grasp dry port, says Ruto
In 2014 the state began to refurbish dry ports to cater for increasing cargo and cut business costs in East and Central Africa. Joho says Coast economy will be devastated
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is an “academic dwarf” with a questionable degree making him oppose the set up of dry ports, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
He spoke on Sunday at the launch of the Jubilee Party, Coast chapter, at Tononoka Grounds.
Joho has been rejecting plans to set up a dry port in Naivasha and on Sunday in Kilifi he bashed Ruto, saying he has no right to lecture Coast people.
The government in 2014 embarked on a programme to refurbish and increase capacity at the dry ports to cater for the increasing cargo volumes. Kenya Ports Authority unveiled a threeyear plan to expand dilapidated dry ports.
The project aims to cut business costs in East and Central Africa. Cash for the port projects will be drawn from money for rail construction.
Joho has said jobs will be lost in Mombasa if a dry port is set up and clearing agents will be the worst hit.
“Ruto should make public the agreement between KPA, SGR and the government over the SGR since KPA has been made to pay for it,” Joho said yesterday. He said Coast people will be marginalised by the dry ports.
ODM leaders, especially from Mombasa, have echoed his sentiment.
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale also supported Joho during ODM’s 10th anniversary festivities in Mombasa.
ODM leader Raila Odinga has said setting up a dry port is a wider scheme by Jubilee to ‘hurt’ the Coast economy.
Currently, 70 per cent of Kenya’s imports end up in Nairobi, incurring higher transport costs, travel time from the Port of Mombasa. Businesses are inconvendienced and consumer prices are pushed up.
The government said it is necessary to bring services closer to customers by, for example, introducing dry ports in Naivasha and other areas.
But Joho has said the Jubilee govern- ment is out to “finish” the county. He said it does not make economic sense to create a dry port when there is an existing seaport in Mombasa.
Joho said all critical port services will be transferred to Naivasha via the SGR. The Coast city will be left without major port activities, thus Mombasa will turn into a ghost town as thousands will be out of work, he says.
The Deputy President said only those with questionable academic papers cannot understand the port’s operations. Since 2013, Joho’s academic papers have been challenged in court after claims that he forged them.
He was cleared by the court, which declared he had a genuine degree from Kampala International University.
Ruto said the port handles not only imported cargo but also exports.
“I hear some people here in Mombasa are opposed to the dry port. Those are the effects of buying [academic] papers,” he said at the Mombasa Women’s Hall. But Joho said there are institutions in the country and outside that determine the authenticity of any academic certificates and so he shouldn’t talk about it.
Ruto said the government is determined to establish dry ports in Nairobi, Naivasha and Kisumu. He faulted critics for unreasonable opposition.
At Tononoka, Ruto accused Joho of consistently attacking him.
“I am not in a contest with you,” he said.
Speaking separately in Kilifi on Sunday, Joho said Ruto has no authority to “lecture” Coast people.
“Telling people the truth about his [Ruto’s] character doesn’t amount to a contest,” the governor said.
Joho has been bashing Ruto, saying he is not his match. The governor has said that in 2022, he will defeat Ruto hands down if they face off for President. Joho intends to run on an ODM ticket to get to the top seat, while Ruto will contest on a JP ticket.
Analysts say Joho’s attack on Ruto is a wider plan to discredit him and putlthe DP off balance in 2022.
During the rally, Ruto said he cannot compete with Joho, who boasts of having massive wealth.
“If you have money in a briefcase or a sack full of cash, that’s yours. I don’t have time for that,” Ruto said.
Joho has told off JP leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto, saying he cannot be bought.
Deputy President William Ruto at Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa on Sunday/