Leaked Letter CS Macharia Received Before Likoni Tragedy

  • Transport CS James Macharia has been put on the spot after a letter he allegedly received before the Likoni tragedy occurred leaked.

    According to The Standard on November 1, 2019, confidential documents by the Kenya Ferry Services Board that President Uhuru Kenyatta fired, exposed the extent of rot at the agency.

    The letter which was said to have been written before the September 29, incident which saw Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu drown in the Indian Ocean, was written by the disbanded board. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta, , Interior Cabinet CS Fred Matiang'i and Transport CS James Macharia (l) in Mombasa in January 2019

    The board had recommended the sacking of Managing Director, Bakari Gowa, over what it termed as incompetence.

    Ex-KFS Chairman, Dan Mwanzo, who Kenyatta fired had written to the Transport CS on July 31, 2019, seeking the intervention of Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti. 

    Mwanzo wanted the DCI to probe the procurement systems at KFS. 

    He had highlighted that despite millions being used to repair the ferries every year, the vessels still exposed commuters to risks.

    "The vessels are in a dilapidated state posing safety risks to commuters. While KFS has annually set aside enormous funds for servicing the vessels, there isn’t much to show,” Mwanzo had lamented.

    The board also asked Kinoti to conduct a lifestyle audit on key personnel including Gowa.

    According to a report by People Daily on Friday, November 1, the Senate Committee on Transport recommended grounding of all vessels plying the Likoni Channel, on grounds that the safety of commuters was at risk. 

    Victims of the Likoni ferry tragedy were on Saturday, October 19 laid to rest in their home at Mung'ala Village, Makueni County.

    Mariam Kighenda and her 4-year-old daughter were buried in one large grave, as disclosed by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's Communications Director Jacob Elkanah.

    Mariam Kigenda and her daughter Amanda who drowned after their car slid off the ferry and sunk into the ocean on Sunday, September 29.
    Hundreds of commuters stranded at the Likoni in Mombasa County on October 2, 2019, after ferry services were suspended for few hours to allow search operation for victims in the Kilindini Channel