President Uhuru Kenyatta through a presidential directive has kicked out several government agencies from the port of Mombasa. The radical move was communicated via a memo from State House dated June 4 is meant to improve operations at the port.

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This directive affected more than 20 government agencies and has set a stage for a possible inter-agency battle. The Anti-Counterfeit Agency, National Intelligence Service, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services and Directorate of Criminal Investigation agencies now have restricted access to port cargo clearance. 

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Port Health and Port Security Office and Immigration have maintained full access.

The memo categorised the agencies into five groups making most to request permission to have full access to the port of Mombasa. 

This has been opposed by affected agencies but refused to comment when reached by Sunday Nation underscoring the power behind the circular.

“What if we seek permission and they don’t grant it? What are we supposed to do when we know some cargo is suspected to be either counterfeit or illegal and we cannot access the port? 

"This is going to open a can of worms and we have been here before when Kebs, for example, would clear the goods only to be confiscated by another agency for violating some laws. At the end of the day, the same traders will be inconvenienced,” a source from one of the affected agencies told Sunday Nation.

The change in operations structure Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) will lead to cargo handling. It is believed that this will reduce clearance time importers go through at the port.