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New KPA Managing Director Captain William Ruto reports to Office

Mombasa – March 14,2023
It was pomp and color at the KPA headquarters as jubilant staff gave the new Managing Director Captain William Ruto a heroic welcome when he officially assumed office on Monday. Staff clad in official reflector jackets trooped in from all zones spanning from Dockyard to the Second Container Terminal.

The new Managing Director was received by the KPA Board Chairman Hon. Benjamin Tayari and the immediate former acting Managing Director Amb. John Mwangemi for a handing over meeting at the Chairman’s office before his first address to the staff.

​​​​​​Captain Ruto thanked the Chairman and the Board for the appointment and promised to transform the Port of Mombasa and other port facilities to regional economic hubs.

“One of the most important things to note is that this Port is not only for Kenya but it’s the gateway to East and Central Africa. We are therefore not only going to look at what is going on within our country, but we must also tap on what is happening within emerging transit markets and also focus on growing more business volumes for this institution,” he said.

The MD termed the KPA workforce as a major stakeholder while promising to focus on efficiency at port facilities with their invaluable contribution.

He said he was aware of the enormous task awaiting him of driving the government’s agenda on the many ongoing mega projects to spur the economy of the country such as the Special Economic Zone  Dongo Kundu project saying he would work closely with all the General Managers. 

“Mr Chairman I want to assure you and the Board that I will never let you down. I am an old hand in this field having worked here for over 20 years with my previous sea time career. I am very confident with your support and that of the Board we will steer this Port to be among the best ports globally,” the MD added. 

Captain Ruto thanked his predecessor Amb. Mwangemi, saying he had made a significant contribution to stabilize the institution for the last two years when he was the acting MD.

The KPA Chairman Hon. Benjamin Tayari congratulated Captain Ruto saying he was hired through a meticulous competitive process.

“Captain Ruto, we want to wish you well in your new capacity. There are a lot of expectations from the community and the entire country, and I am looking forward to working with you. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we want to welcome you back to the KPA headquarters to spearhead the leadership of this great institution. May God, give you power and capacity to guide the management on the daily activities at our port facilities,” he said.

The Chairman at the same time thanked the former acting MD noting that he had worked closely with almost everyone, done a fantastic job and propelled the Authority to another level during the period he served.

“Amb. Mwangemi, we want to wish you well and we will always keep in touch for discussions on matters regarding the ports. We do believe that you will remain helpful to this Authority. You have become part of this family and so these are still your people,” said Hon. Tayari.

Earlier  in the Chairman’s office Amb. Mwangemi commended the Board for appointing Captain Ruto to the position of MD saying it was the right choice to have an internal candidate because it makes the process of handover easy and seamless.

He congratulated the new MD saying his 32 years wealth of experience would be very vital in growing the organisation.

“I look forward to further supporting this organisation that I am very proud of. Captain Ruto, I am a phone call away, whenever you have an issue, please feel free to get in touch with me,” he said.

The former MD encouraged the new MD to focus on accelerating growth in the next couple of years for the Authority to realize its stated vision of world class ports of choice.

“I look forward to the opportunity of hearing good news and coming back to see how you are progressing. Asanteni sana!” he added as his parting shot.

During his unveiling to the jubilant port workers as the new MD, Captain Ruto said he was happy to be back to a familiar territory where he had worked for more than 20 years in the operations department. 

​He assured the Chairman of his commitment to turnaround the Authority’s fortunes by being open to constructive views from all stakeholders.

“From the onset, I would like to thank the Chairman and his Board for considering me, among my other able competitors, for the post of the Managing Director of this premier institution. I promise to give it my best, together with you and make Ports of Kenya the true economic hubs of the region,” he said.

Using a metaphor, the MD told the workers that his rallying call being performance “they must take good care of the cow by feeding it” meaning the improved performance would attract big business volumes and generate revenue to meet their expectations including salaries and bonuses. 

He called for commitment of the workforce and cautioned them against absenteeism.

“From now we want to plan how to start breaking records because we also must show our bosses in Nairobi that we know our work and that we are capable of attaining the desired results,” added Captain Ruto.

Addressing the staff, KPA Board Chairman Hon. Tayari, said he was thankful that God had granted the Board wisdom during the hiring of the MD which was not an easy task. 

​“I want to thank all the directors because we all sat and agreed that we must make a wise decision. So, when you see Captain Ruto as the MD, it is not on the basis of tribalism, friendship or such grounds. We administered a transparent and competitive interview process which ensured we settled on someone capable to run this port,” he said.

The Chairman told employees that it was his desire and that of Captain Ruto that productivity would go higher so that the Authority could reciprocate by giving them attractive perks.

Dock Workers Union General Secretary Mr. Simon Sang who was also present expressed happiness saying the workers had given the new MD a historic warm reception . He said that he had made a commitment in writing and assured the KPA management under the leadership of Captain Ruto of improved performance within the next one year.

“MD, I want to assure you that this battalion of soldiers will readily and willingly provide the much needed services such that you will not struggle and you will not strain,” he said.

Mr. Sang highlighted a number of issues including the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which he assured staff would soon be addressed during a scheduled meeting between him, the MD and the KPA Board Chairman.