Freights and warehouse operators threaten to paralyse operations


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A worker walks by containers at the main port in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Kenya International Freights and Warehouse Association (KIFWA) members have threatened a complete paralysis of the sector if they are not issued their 2017 licences within seven working days.

The over 1,000 clearing agents who met at a Nairobi hotel yesterday further appointed an interim task force of eight to negotiate the progress towards achievement of the same.

They have further called on KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini to confirm the authenticity of a document setting out new vetting requirements, named the stakeholder’s bio-data form, which they say is a deliberate scheme by cartels that are bent on killing small and medium companies.

“We disown any information we may have submitted to KRA in that form because we were coerced and put under duress,” said William Ojonyo of Keynote Logistics.

“That form is not KRA’s work and we know whose interests it is meant to serve and that is why we are demanding that the CG (Commissioner General) comes out clean on this.”

The eight members drawn, four each, from Coast and Nairobi regions are expected to fill a vacuum left by former Chair Auni Bhalji of Bollore logistics and Philip Arunga pending fresh elections whose notice will be issued.

This comes after KRA Demanded to vet all clearing agents before awarding the licenses but the interim leadership led by Ojonyo as Chairman countered this by demanding KRA top management be vetted in public before the scrutiny of agents can begin.

“We all know the mess that is in KRA so we demand the immediate vetting of the body before they can continue with any process of vetting our agents,” he said.

He said the delay in issuing them with licenses is a ploy to favour multi-national firms at the expense of local enterprises.

The meeting passed a resolution to reverse their earlier decision of a countrywide go-slow, saying they are giving dialogue a chance, a process they want the task force to spearhead with KRA and other stakeholders.

In the highly charged gathering, the delegates also demanded for a multi-stakeholders forum with Treasury Cabinet Secretary Dr. Henry Rotich and the Commissioner General Kenya Revenue Authority John Njiraini a must attend.

They further questioned the outcome of the three petitions delivered to the Cabinet Secretary, Parliament and KRA.

“At the meeting we shall demand for answers as to what happened to the three petitions because important matters such as vetting and licensing of our agents cannot be decided without our involvement,” the Chairman said.

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