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Bridge Uhuru launched while Joho was ‘detained’ collapses – PHOTOS

The Mtongwe ferry services that were controversially re-launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month have been interrupted after a pontoon was swept away by heavy currents on Tuesday night.

Commuters using the Mtongwe channel are now being ferried to Likoni channel instead of Mtongwe-Docks on Island.

An elite presidential guard blocked Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho from attending the re-launch of Mtongwe ferry on March 13, 2017 by President Kenyatta.

The pontoon that was swept away is old and dilapidated hence the disaster.

The platform at the Island side was drifted at around midnight on Tuesday leading to a crisis in the morning.

Commuters using the channel were forced to wait for long before crossing to the Island for their daily activities.

Part of the pontoon at the Mtongwe ferry docking site which sunk due to heavy current at the Island side. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT
Part of the pontoon at the Mtongwe ferry docking site which sunk due to heavy current at the Island side. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT

Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Bakari Gowa said pillars holding the pontoon were overwhelmed by the heavy water leading to the breakaway of the pontoon.

“We have decided to cross the passengers using the Likoni channel as we work to return the pontoon which was recovered metres away from its original position after it was swept away. We cannot halt the services because people are already used to them,” said Mr Gowa at Mtongwe jetty.

In the March drama, President Kenyatta told Mr Joho to concentrate on his work as the governor and stop following him around.

The President also warned that he would teach the governor, who was fond of criticizing him, a lesson.

Mr Joho insisted he was heading to the launch of the Mtongwe Ferry by President Kenyatta following his position as governor and that he would not have attended if he were not.

Part of the pontoon at the Mtongwe ferry docking site which sunk due to heavy current at the Island side. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT
Part of the pontoon at the Mtongwe ferry docking site which sunk due to heavy current at the Island side. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT

There was hue and cry from some quarters when an elite presidential guard stopped from attending the event. The security men searched vehicles forcing Mr Joho to use a motorbike.

On social media people have already started making fun of the Tuesday night incident.

On Thursday, Mr Joho said: “They were afraid that if I attended I would have questioned why they were launching a 30-year-old ferry.”

He said he did not understand what President Kenyatta meant when he said he will discipline and bring him down.

“I do not know what kuninyorosha means,” he said. “But if telling anyone the truth for the sake of my people amounts to abusing the Presidency then I have no apology to make.”

Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Bakari Gowa stands next to part of the pontoon at the Mtongwe ferry docking site which sunk due to heavy current at the Island side. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT
Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Bakari Gowa stands next to part of the pontoon at the Mtongwe ferry docking site which sunk due to heavy current at the Island side. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT