Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen has proclaimed the removal of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director Alex Gitari and General Manager Project and Engineering Services, Fred Odawo, consequent to the nationwide power outage that disrupted operations at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Friday.
In their stead, Henry Ogoye, presently the Head of Corporate Planning at KAA, will assume the role of Gitari, while Eng. Samuel Mwochache will take over from Odawo.
Speaking subsequent to his inspection of JKIA on Saturday to verify the resumption of operations, Murkomen linked the personnel changes to the recurrent management challenges at KAA, which have allegedly contributed to a demoralized workforce.
“When I appointed the new board, I emphasized the necessity to restructure the workforce and put an end to the practice of having numerous officers in acting capacities for extended periods. The board has effectively overseen the reconstitution and reorganization of KAA,” he stated.
He further explained, “The organization has initiated the process of hiring permanent staff to fill these positions, a task that will conclude within the next fortnight. In light of the challenges faced by KAA, we have implemented the subsequent changes in collaboration with the board of directors.”
While underscoring that the removal of Gitari and Odawo should not be construed as a targeted action against them, Murkomen also disclosed the reassignment of senior personnel overseeing Kenya’s three major airports.
“Abel Gogo, the Airport Manager at JKIA, will now be stationed at Mombasa International Airport. Selina Gor, the Airport Manager at Kisumu International Airport, will assume the role of JKIA’s new manager,” Murkomen announced.
“Peter Wafula, the Airport Manager at Mombasa, will move to Kisumu International Airport. These transitions will take immediate effect, with more changes anticipated in the days to come.”
Additionally, Murkomen reassured that the JKIA power outage did not endanger incoming and outgoing flights or passengers, as the backup generators for the runway and control tower were promptly activated during the blackout.
“To prevent the recurrence of a similar incident, it has been decided to commission the two generators that were procured over two years ago,” he affirmed.
“I want to assure the country that we have taken measures to bolster the expertise and capacity of technical professionals in the engineering department, thereby mitigating the possibility of such incidents in the future.”