A Dubai-based shipping company sought to work in Kenya months after President William Ruto-led government accused it of trying to take over port operations.
Dubai Port World on February 28, expressed interest to invest in the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Mombasa.
While visiting Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) headquarters in Mombasa, the firm revealed that it was conducting a feasibility study with an aim of developing the SEZ.
According to a statement by KPA, if satisfied with the feasibility study, DP World will embark on a motor vehicle import business for local, transit and transhipment markets.
This is not the first time the international company has expressed interest in investing in Kenya’s port operations.
During former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, DP World was on the verge of taking over key port operations in the country.
The company applied for concession licences to take over key ports and logistics facilities in Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu.
The deal was to see DP World control four berths in Kilindini, three berths in Lamu and three special economic zones.
Kenya Kwanza principals strongly opposed the move remarking that it was unconstitutional and shrouded in secrecy.
"A matter as critical and fundamental as take-over of our national strategic asset, cannot be purported to be constitutionally processed and concluded without the involvement of Parliament," Kenya Kwanza co-principals stated on June 29, 2022.
"We challenge the government to make public any process and procedure that was used to procure such a massive tender,” the statement read further.
The then Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani assured the Kenya Kwanza coalition that everything was done according to the law.
“This is part of the government’s long-term plan, and the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project has been with us for more than 10 years,” the CS responded.
Despite the assurance from the CS, the deal collapsed heading to the August 9, 2022, general election.