Photographer: Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg

Kenyan Government Rejects Opposition Claims of Port-Tender Graft

  • Opposition leader says DP World won tender after U.A.E. loan
  • Government spokesman says all due process was followed

Kenya’s government rejected opposition leader Raila Odinga’s allegations of corruption in the award of a management tender at the country’s main port.

Odinga, a former prime minister, said on March 26 that DP World Ltd. won the contract even after 12 rival companies submitted better bids and following a $275 million concessionary loan from the United Arab Emirates. DP World, which is owned by the government of Dubai, declined to comment.

“All due process was followed,” Eric Kiraithe, spokesman for Kenya’s government, said by phone. Kenya’s opposition parties are “dubbing everything that the government does as bad” before the country holds general elections in August, he said.

Odinga said the loan was given to Kenya on condition that the U.A.E. government appoints an agent to operate, manage and undertake the expansion of a second container terminal at the port of Mombasa. The U.A.E. then appointed DP World to manage the facility, he said.

“It would appear the U.A.E. did not win but purchased the management of our second container terminal at a cost of $275 million,” he said. “Dubai Port, which has been given the contract to manage the second container terminal in Mombasa, was defeated by about 12 other port operators which expressed interest in managing the second terminal.”

He said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta should respond to the opposition’s questions. Kenyatta’s spokesman, Manoah Esipisu, couldn’t immediately comment on the allegations when contacted on Monday.

Mombasa hosts the biggest harbor in East Africa, which serves nations including Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

— With assistance by Deena Kamel

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