By Mohamed Warsama
Cainet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’i please tell President Uhuru Kenyatta that the people of Mombasa do not want a suspension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) cargo order by your Transport CS James Macharia.
You said a suspension would pave the way for negotiations on the way forward. No please. People of Mombasa cannot negotiate a surrender of their constitutional right to earn a lawful living under the constitution.
This government has absolutely no right to deprive 50,000 workers depending directly and indirectly on the port and road transport.
What good will the suspension of the SGR cargo move do to the affected workers of Mombasa ? The transport firms have been laying them off and winding up their businesses as they pay final dues to the workers.
You want these companies to recall them back on the strength of a “suspension” ? Businesses do not operate on temporary suspension basis. They demand and must have long-term assurances.
That means they want a guarantee that if they recall the workers and resume operations it will be on a permanent basis, not on a temporary basis.
Why should the people of Mombasa suffer unemployment and economic slump because of the incompetent planners of the SGR who bungled their calculations after corruptly inflating the costs of the SGR ?
Why should the economic development and prosperity of the entire country be confined to Nairobi and Mount Kenya region ?
Is the Coast not a part of Kenya ? Are the people of the Coast not entitled to this prosperity that Nairobi is enjoying ?
Where in the world do you find this kind of economic setup where 60% of the GDP is concentrated in the capital city of Nairobi ?
What kind of nation are you building ? You are not building a nation ! You are destroying the oneness of this nation.
Rescind this stupid Macharia directive permanently because we the people of the Coast will not surrender our rights to employment. They are our birthrights, given to us by God.
Finally, the Government should not consult Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who is a part-timer. There are people who have devoted their time and energy full time to the SGR cargo issue.
Let Joho go back to his music lessons and leave the serious stake-holders to handle the issue.
Sadly we have very very poor choices in leadership options to make. Joho is learning how to sing so he can be a full time singer in 2022. Suleiman Shahbal is articulate but he is another Joe Biden. On Tuesday this week, he told us that he was awed when he counted 26 motor cycles escorting President Uhuru Kenyatta after his Kasarani swearing-in in 2013.
We dont want leaders who are going to stand on the road and count the number of vehicles in a Presidential motorcade.
Mohamed Warsama is a media consultant and investigative journalist.