Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has announced major leadership changes at the Kenya Airports Authority – KAA hours after a power outage hit the country, including the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
In a statement after touring the JKIA in the company of KAA Board, Murkomen announced that the Managing Director (MD) of KAA Alex Gitari had been replaced.
Murkomen further noted that the power outage did not affect landing and takeoff at the airport. He, however, apologized for the inconvenience.
By mutual agreement, the contract of Mr. Alex Gitari, who has been the MD of KAA has been terminated. In his place, Mr. Henry Ogoye, currently serving as the head of corporate planning, has been appointed to be the acting MD of KAA,” said Murkomen.
Further, the CS announced the termination of the contract of the General Manager Project and Engineering Services, Eng. Fred Odawa.
CS Murkomen appointed Eng. Samuel Mochache to take over from Eng. Odawa in an acting capacity.
Changes at Kenya Airports Authority after JKIA outage
Moreover, the CS made changes in the management of airports in the country.
In the reshuffle, Abel Gogo, the airports manager at JKIA, has been moved to Mombasa International Airport.
Gogo has been replaced by Kisumu International Airport Manager, Selina Gor, who will now oversee operations at JKIA.
Further, Peter Wafula, who was the airport manager at Mombasa International Airport has been moved to Kisumu in the same capacity.
“These changes take effect immediately, more changes will follow in the coming days,” said CS Murkomen.
In order to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, the CS ordered the commissioning of two generators procured two years ago.
Furthermore, CS Murkomen directed the KAA board to work on staff attitude, mentorship, and motivation to improve productivity.
“I assure the country and the world that we have taken measures to enhance the capacity of technical experts in the engineering department to ensure this incident does not recur,” explained the CS.
Also, the CS said the blackout affected terminal 1A, which is the biggest of all the terminals at JKIA.
However, Murkomen emphasized that only passengers staying at terminal 1A and service providers at the airport were affected.
“Nothing affected the runway of the control tower. Neither the passengers nor our airlines were in danger, the only danger was the darkness,” said Murkomen.
As at 11:30am Saturday, 26th August 2023 KPLC had restored power supply to most parts of the country icluding Kiambu, Nyeri, Meru, Murang’a, Embu, Isiolo, Nanyuki, Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet, Nyandarua, Samburu, Kisumu, Vihiga, Kakamega, Siaya, Busia, Kisi., Migori, Uasin-Gishu, Nandi, Kitale, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Machakos, Makueni and parts of Nairobi,
“We are working to restore the remaining areas and we shall update once the remaining generating plants are back.
We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience caused and we thank them for their patience,” said KPLC.
Parliament summons CS Davis Chirchir
In response to the countrywide power outage, the National Assembly summoned Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and Kenya Power Chief Executive Office Joseph Siror.
In a press release shared by the committee’s secretariat on Saturday, August 26, the National Assembly asked CS Chirchir and Eng. Siror to appear before the Energy committee chaired by Mwala MP Vincent Musyoka on Thursday, August 31.
The two will give a comprehensive report of what led to the outage.
“The chairman has directed that we summon CS Energy together with the CEO KPLC on Thursday to explain the cause of the current nationwide blackout which has paralyzed the nation, including the International Airport,” the communication reads in part.
The committee is currently on a retreat in Mombasa to discuss and write a report on the high cost of electricity in the country.