Kenya Ports Authority has said it will not charge storage fees that accrued as a result of delays in cargo clearance during recent industrial action by dockworkers.
Mombasa port managing director Gichiri Ndua said the authority would not charge exporters and importers because they were not the cause of the delays.
“The goods overstayed due to the strike by our workers. We will, therefore, not charge our clients,” he said.
Early this month, members of the Dockworkers Union went on strike for two days over the new National Hospital Insurance Fund. About 2,000 stevedores were protesting about extra charges the government has imposed for the national health insurance scheme.
The industrial action disrupted the supply of goods to the east and central Africa countries of Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. It is estimated to have incurred losses of more USD 2 million for the east African port.
The new health insurance scheme requires those on monthly salaries of between KES50,000 and KES 59,999 (USD485-580) to pay KES 1,200 of that to the enhanced benefits scheme, while the self-employed pay KES 500, up from KES 160.
Related news:Mombasa begins second phase of expansion
Workers in higher pay bands face the biggest increase, at 431%.
Previously the scheme only part-paid for inpatient services; the new scheme now entitles contributors to outpatient services. It started on 1 July, three months after the fund started collecting the higher premiums.
Ndua made his announcement to local Muslim elders while donating food to the Muslim community for Iftar, one of the religious observances of Ramadan.