MPs blame KFS, Navy officials for accident

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
Mishi Mboko and other MPs at a press conference over Likoni tragedy.

Several Members of Parliament have demanded an overhaul of the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) after a car aboard a Likoni channel ferry rolled into the Indian Ocean, drowning a woman and her daughter.

They also want officials of KFS, Kenya Coast Guard services (KCGS) and the Kenya Navy to take responsibility for the death of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Wambua in the Sunday incident.

Addressing the media in Nairobi yesterday, the MPs led by Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga) and Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay Woman Rep), the legislators said the accident was a result of incompetence and gross negligence by KFS, KCGS and Kenya Navy officials.

The MPs said the officials should face the full force of the law should investigations prove that acts of omission or commission had caused the deaths of the two.

“It is shameful that until now, no one particularly in the management of Kenya Ferry Services, has seen it fit to take responsibility for the glaring Likoni Ferry safety gaps that have made the ferry a death trap,” said Mboko (pictured below).

She said she had been a victim of negligence after her car, which was being driven by a family member, plunged in the ocean and she had to use the services of private divers to retrieve it.

Mwashetani agreed with Mboko that the incident was the result of dereliction of duty and incompetence of the various agencies charged with management and safety of ferry services and the ocean.

He said the delay in the recovery of the bodies could have been avoided had KFS agreed from the onset to hire private divers.

“KFS has refused to employ the experienced divers and has gone ahead and employed people they know. That is why the private divers have given up and left,” he said.

Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) has said KFS management should take responsibility for the loss of lives saying it had failed to heed its calls to improve safety of their operations.

On Monday, Coast Regional Co-coordinator John Elungata also asked KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa to carry responsibility for the accident.

“The ferry itself is old and could not close. The ferry management should take responsibility since this is a matter of public safety,” he said.

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