The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will auction property worth hundreds of millions at the Port of Mombasa starting today (May 30) in a bid to clear the facility of unclaimed goods.

Prospective buyers began inspecting the merchandise last week with the ports operations manager Joseph Kaguru saying the tax body had put logistics to ensure the exercise goes smooth.

Cargo at the port of Mombasa. Photo: geskaafrica.com

We have centralized the auction and the exercise will be conducted at the port after goods earmarked for sale were moved from the Container Freight Stations (CFSs),Kaguru said on Monday.

Some of the goods set for auction are white rice, stationary, ceramic tiles, second-hand clothes as well as used motor vehicles including a Mercedes Benz B Class, a Land Rover Discovery and a Honda CR-V all manufactured in 2009. KRA between July 2016 and April 2017 auctioned goods worth Sh500 million.

“Auctioning of abandoned goods has also helped us return empty containers to shipping lines so that they may use them for their shipments. Some of the cargo that has not been sold in the past auctions will be re-offered,” he said.

KRA starting September 2016 began blacklisting and denying access to bidders who fail to pay for the goods they book ahead of the auction.

“The fake bidders are the ones who make people think that officers involved in the auction cut deals. We will not allow traders who bid but fail to pay for goods,” the taxman said in a statement then.

KRA began auctioning goods at the port to discourage traders who import goods and fail to clear them- crowding the Mombasa facility. At the time KRA made the decision, over 1,000 vehicles and 1,159 containers lay at the port even after the owners were given a 60-day pardon.