President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday morning made an impromptu visit to the Embakasi Inland Container Depot (ICD) where seized containers are being detained.
According to a statement from State House, the president’s visit was prompted by distress calls from traders whose goods have been confiscated.
The President was accompanied by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and PS Karanja Kibicho.
Also present were heads of the multi-agency task force led by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.
President Kenyatta made an impromptu visit to the Embakasi ICD where seized containers are being stored. The visit was prompted by complaints by traders whose goods have been confiscated. He was accompanied by CS Matiang’i, PS Kibicho and heads of the multi-agency task force. pic.twitter.com/JmUMhMQCAO
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) May 27, 2019
It was not immediately actions that will follow after the visit.
The visit comes weeks after clearing agents staged demos at the deport after being denied entry into Kenya Revenue Authorities (KRA) for unknown reasons.
According to sources who spoke to Kahawa Tungu, KRA officials are only allowing entry to agents who are known to give bribes, while others are locked out.
The agents accuse the head of the bureau Mr Irungu of orchestrating corruption in the facility.
In the recent past, traders have accused customs official at Data Processing Centre, Kilindini Mombasa of frustrating importers and delaying of clearance of goods.
“Documents lodged at the DPC are taking too long to be processed yet the exercise is simple and can take only a few hours. The unnecessary delay is meant to blackmail clients and importers to offer bribes through brokers who pass the loot to senior customs officers,” claimed a clearing agent.
The delays often make importers to dig deeper into their pockets to cater for storage and demurrage costs, a source who sought anonymity revealed to a local media.
“It unnecessarily takes long to verify consignments and release them. They use this delaying tactic to coerce importers to give bribes. Customs officials at Toyo Container Terminal work the way they want including reporting to work at their own time complicating matters,” the source said.
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