Kenya

Likoni tragedy: MPs accuse ferry officials of incompetence

Likoni tragedy: MPs accuse ferry officials of incompetence
  • The MPs also want the military to take internal disciplinary action against the Kenya Navy personnel who did nothing despite being located a few metres away from the site of the incident.

A section of MPs want officials of the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) and Kenya Coast Guard (KCG) to take responsibility after a mother and her daughter drowned at the Likoni Channel on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings Tuesday, 11 MPs termed the deaths of Ms Mariam Kigenda and her four-year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu as unfortunate and it happened because of incompetence by the two government agencies.

'HEADS MUST ROLL'

Led by Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, the MPs questioned where the life guards of the ferry were at the time of the incident.

“On this incident, heads must roll. We believe that there was gross incompetence on the part of Kenya Ferry Services, the Kenya Coast Guard and the Kenya Navy,” Ms Mboko said.

“It is shameful that till now, no one particularly in the management of Kenya Ferry Services has seemed it fit to take responsibility over the glaring Likoni ferry safety gaps that made the ferry a death trap for Ms Kigenda and little Amanda,”she added.

The MPs included Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay),Khatib Mwashetani (Lungalunga),Lillian Gogo (Rangwe),Fatuma Gedi (Wajir),Naisula Lesuda (Samburu West), Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga),Elsie Muhanda (Kakamega),Ruweida Mohamed (Lamu),Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), William Kamoti (Rabai).

The MPs questioned the capacity of the recently created Kenya Coast Guard to provide safety in Kenya’s territorial waters

“We want to know from the Coast Guard director brigadier Vincent Loonena, where were the Coast Guards and what were they doing? asked Mboko.

The MPs also want the military to take internal disciplinary action against the Kenya Navy personnel who did nothing despite just being meters from the site of the incident.

Mr Mwashetani said that it should be made mandatory that each ferry should have at least three professionally trained divers to help in times of disasters.

Ms Kigenda and her daughter died after their car rolled back and plunged into the ocean on Sunday evening.

The remains of the 35-year-old woman and her daughter are said to be 60 metres under water.

On Tuesday, Kenya Ferry services temporarily suspended at the Likoni Channel in Mombasa for 30 minutes to allow retrieval of bodies and the car that plunged into the Indian Ocean.

The Coast Guard Act, 2018 established the KCGS, which is responsible for maritime security and safety, pollution control and sanitation measures as well as prosecuting offenders.