The decision by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to allow a project flatly rejected by other government agencies reeks of impunity, bribery and insubordination of the collective responsibility in any functional government.
That a multinational planning to set up a cooking gas storage plant at the Mombasa port was given NEMA nod despite the glaring safety concerns and formal objection from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) is an unprecedented regulatory injustice to the Kenyan people.
If the the safety of ships docking at the port, a school, the Bandari College and a densely populated Ganjoni-Liwatoni neighbourhood does not warrant NEMA’s concern on any credible Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, then NEMA licenses are not even worthy the paper they are printed on.
Even more telling was the unusual act of impunity by proponents to go ahead and invite the government agencies at the April 4 launch ceremony of the very project they had rejected. This can only mean that the rogue investor was mocking the said agencies.
While Kenyans welcome and embrace foreign direct investments, rogue investors who insult the intelligence and conscience of the Kenyan people must never be allowed to intimidate the government officers who are protecting public interest.
Accordingly, we urge the National Assembly Committee to initiate a process of removal of the Cabinet Secretary for environment Keriaoko Tobiko, the board and Director General of NEMA. In the meantime, the offending development must be stopped forthwith and a fresh investigation be conducted by the DCI with a view to charging all public officers induced, in any way, to extend impunity to the said investors.
In its' current form and perspective, NEMA exists to harass law-abiding citizens over non-plastic bags - for sole aim of advancing private and not public interest.
The NEMA board is on the spot for suspending and reinstating the director of enforcement and compliance David Ongare - earlier sent on compulsory leave for outrageous approvals.
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