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Faulty ferry to be repaired after Treasury issues Sh84m

Monday November 23 2015

A tugboat tows the MV Harambee after it stalled at the Mombasa island side ramp last week. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A tugboat tows the MV Harambee after it stalled at the Mombasa island side ramp last week. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MATHIAS RINGA
By MATHIAS RINGA
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A ferry with engine problems, MV Harambee, which has been operating at the Likoni Channel and risking the lives of passengers will be withdrawn for repairs on Monday.

Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Musa Hassan Musa said the National Treasury released Sh84 million to the agency last week.

He said Sh18 million would be paid to an engineering firm for the release of another ferry, MV Kilindini, which was being repaired.

Mr Musa said MV Harambee, which requires urgent replacement of two engines has been in use due to financial constraints.

The official said the return of MV Kilindini at the channel on Monday, will pave way for the repair of MV Harambee.

Last week, Mr Musa had attributed the parastatal’s financial crisis to the failure by the National Treasury to disburse Sh84 million for operational costs this quarter.

“To address the transport crisis at the channel, we must operate four ferries daily,” he said.

He welcomed the move by Transport Principal Secretary John Mosonik for pushing for the release of the funds.

“It was a huge relief to us when the Treasury finally sent us the funds. We were supposed to receive the Sh84 million last month. We have already bought the engines for MV Harambee,” said Mr Musa.

The ferry boss said the ferry would be out of service for between four to six weeks as it undergoes repair.

Mr Musa said another ferry, MV Likoni, will also be repaired to help improve services at the channel.

The official had earlier told the Nation that the five ferries’ lifespan had expired more than 10 years ago.

Mr Musa said MV Mvita is 46-years-old while MV Pwani is 40-years-old.