Muhoho leaves KAA post - Daily Nation

Muhoho leaves KAA post

Wednesday April 1 2009

Transport minister Chirau Mwakwere addresses a press conference at Transcom House, Nairobi where said that KAA managing director George Muhoho has been replaced after his term expired. Photo/ FREDRICK ONYANGO

Transport minister Chirau Mwakwere addresses a press conference at Transcom House, Nairobi where said that KAA managing director George Muhoho has been replaced after his term expired. Photo/ FREDRICK ONYANGO 

By LUCAS BARASA

A new managing director of Kenya Airports Authority has been appointed to replace George Muhoho, whose contract has ended.

Transport minister Chirau Mwakwere has named Mr Muhoho's deputy, Mr Mathew Wamalwa, as new managing director in an acting capacity.

A substantive MD will be named on Friday, Mr Mwakwere told a news conference at his Nairobi office on Wednesday.

However, the minister has hinted at the possibility of Mr Muhoho been re-appointed.

"The position is open to anyone who qualifies. It does not exclude anyone including Mr Muhoho. It does not appear anywhere in the KAA Act that the MD should serve for only two terms."

Accompanied by assistant minister Harun Mwau and Transport deputy secretary Philomena Koech, Mr Mwakwere said he is free to appoint anyone who qualifies irrespective of age as KAA MD.

He praised Mr Muhoho’s two terms at the helm of KAA saying he had done his work efficiently.

The minister said questions raised by State audit firm, Efficiency Monitoring Unit over the parastatal's financial dealings concerned the institution and not Mr Muhoho.

"No punitive measures are being considered against him. On corrective measures, the institution is being considered," Mr Mwakwere said.

The EMU raised questions over the parastatal's contracts worth Sh1.7 billion.

Among the projects that have been questioned include work undertaken at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, the Kisumu Airport, the Moi International Airport in Mombasa and the old airport at Embakasi, Nairobi.

In a joint report, the EMU and the Inspectorate of State Corporations revealed how the Kenya Airports Authority board and management failed to comply with regulations in the awarding of contracts.

The largest amount to have raised questions involved Sh1.4 billion ($191 million) accrued as a result of the failure by the contractor, MS Queens Quay Architects, to complete the construction of an apron, taxi ways and other installations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Work on these projects had been scheduled to be completed in 10 months but was extended by 13 months, causing the initial cost of the projects to rise.

The emergency repair work at the Kisumu Airport runway was also single-sourced to a Chinese firm, M/S China Wu Yi, at their own quoted contract price of Sh17.6 million, contrary to public procurement regulations.

Apart from delay of JKIA expansion project, KAA has also been on the spot over plans to allocate the Old Embakasi Airport terminal for management by a private company.

Mr Muhoho is among parastatal chief executives and permanent secretaries who were mentioned in Parliament last year as past retirement age.

He has been a close ally of President Kibaki since their time in Cabinet under former President Moi. 

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