BY PRUDENCE WANZA – Kenya Ferry Services has refuted claims that the cost of the new ferries is worth 1.9billion as reported by the media in one of the local dailies.

In a statement issued to the media, KFS has stated that the cost of the news ferries MV Jambo and MV Safari was KSh.1.8billion and not Ksh.1.9billion as earlier alluded.

KFS Corporate services clarified that the Turkish firm, Ozata, has never been in contract with the Tanzanian Government to construct a Ferry contrary to the report in the media.

In the media report, Tanzania is said to have acquired a ferry from the Turkish firm at a cost of Ksh.550m which has a bigger capacity than the two ordered by Kenya.

“The only Ferry to have been built and delivered to Africa was MV Jambo and MV Safari which is on construction at the moment. We would like to affirm that the Turkish firm has never had any other contract to build ferries in Africa other than Kenya.” Stated KFS.

According to KFS, the maintenance of the old ferries is capital intensive and every ferry is mandatory to be dry-docked after every two years. However, in the previous years the works were minimally done but during the term of the Managing Director, Mr.Bakari Gowa most of the ferries have been dry-docked as per requirements.

KFS has also affirmed that the procurement of the new ferries was done in an open International tender and was in strict guidelines of the procurement laws which have been cleared by the public procurement and administrative board (PPARB) and the high court of Mombasa.

“As an organization, we are committed to professionalism and that our own coxswains are highly trained and process international recognized certifications,” said KFS.

It has however stated that Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) is yet to establish a local curriculum for the country and is in the processing of liaising with other institutions for coxswains of ferries.