By Tobby Otum
Kenya Ports Authority [KPA] is not replacing any employees in the current recruitment process underway at the port of Lamu in Lamu county.
KPA head of human resources Mary Wangai refuted claims the management is replacing people at the port of Mombasa insisting that those are mere rumors which are baseless and without facts.
“We have gone far to reach people who have changed their cell phone numbers through the local provincial administration during the recruitment of 100 employees for the Lamu port,” she pointed out.
Wangai insisted no one was being replaced after successful recruitment of new employees at the Lamu port.
She spoke during an induction program for the 100 employees along berth number 20 at the port of Mombasa in Mombasa county who are expected to start working at the Lamu port.
The KPA officer said the employees are formally employed with the authority and are already in the pay roll.
Wangai told journalist they are just at port of Mombasa on a familiarization tour before allocated duties at the Lamu facility.
She disclosed out of 3,426 applicants for the advertised positions at the Lamu port only 100 applicants were successful.
“Through the process we were able identify under 1500 applicants drawn from the county who met the criteria as per the advertisement,” she pointed out.
The KPA officer pointed out that among those invited for the interview only 952 applicants turned up.
Wangai defended the process arguing they managed to pick the best from the best with other factors put into consideration.
“There is 30 percent women representation and also those living with disability were considered as a representation from the entire county,” she said.
The KPA officer regretted the facility was supposed to begin operations in 2020 but this could not happen due unavoidable circumstances.
Wangai said they were forced to come back to Mombasa with 100 successful applicants and they had kept the list a secret.
She told journalists the new 100 recruited employees are dockworkers drawn from Lamu county.
“We had to work long hours to arrive at the choice of the 100 employees ahead of the start of operations at the Lamu port,” she said.
The KPA officer narrated that the task to identify the 100 dockworkers had started in December 2019.
Wangari said they were forced to sit down and come up with the criteria on how Lamu county will be fully represented at the end of the exercise.
She said they advertised for the slots and gave out the criteria before hitting the ground with first going to the local regional administration offices.
Speaking at the function KPA Corporate affairs Manager, Benard Osero said the new employees are drawn from the county.
He refuted claims they are permanently employed to work at the county facility saying they will work in other facilities too.
“They will work here in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nairobi and at the new Naivasha Inland Container Depot in Nakuru county,” he pointed out.
The KPA officer said they are entitled to work where they like as there are people from Lamu who work in Mombasa arguing the difference is that all the employees are from the county.
Osero said the management is working with relevant skills at the ground and are still working on the transfer of equipments to Lamu.