The tragic deaths of Likoni Ferry tragedy victims Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda could have been avoided, a Senate report indicates.
Tabled by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo junior last week, the report revealed the sorry state of the five ferries operated by the Kenya Ferry Services terming them potential deathtraps.
According to the report, MV Kwale, MV Nyayo, MV Kilindini, MV Harambee and MV Likoni are dysfunctional and unseaworthy.
MV Harambee, in particular, was found to lack functional ramps, a contravention of International Safety Management (ISM) regulations that require all vessels to dry-dock after 8,500 hours of operation.
Additionally, the damning report accused the Kenya Ferry Services of operating decommissioned ferries including MV Harambee, MV Nyayo and MV Kilindini.
The three vessels were bought as used vessels in 1990.
Senator Kilonzo stated that the five vessels pose a danger to more than 300,000 passengers and over 6,000 motorists plying the Likoni Channel daily.
“I have it on record that the ramps commonly referred to as prows are not functioning and in the case of MV Kilindini, the prows are rising at less than 45 degrees,” Mutula said on the floor of the House on Wednesday.
“Had the ramp of MV Harambee been functioning properly, the untimely death of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu on 29th September 29, 2019, could have been avoided.”
The Senator noted MV Harambee was refurbished at a cost of Sh157million in the Financial Year 2016/ 2017.
“I strongly suspect that the said amount of Kshs157million was misappropriated. This matter requires urgent investigations,” he said.
Mutula Kilonzo also called for a probe into the management of African Marine Limited which KFS has single-sourced for the servicing of its vessels.