KAA boss ‘locked out of office’ - Daily Nation

KAA boss ‘locked out of office’

Thursday August 30 2012

Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director Engineer Stephen Gichuki (left) and the General Manager Procurement, Allan Muturi (right) while appearing before the joint committees on Finance, Planning, Trade and Transport on August 23, 2012. PHOTO / SALATON NJAU

Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director Engineer Stephen Gichuki (left) and the General Manager Procurement, Allan Muturi (right) while appearing before the joint committees on Finance, Planning, Trade and Transport on August 23, 2012. PHOTO / SALATON NJAU Nation Media Group

By JOHN NJAGI [email protected]

The suspended Kenya Airports Authority managing director on Thursday told MPs how he was locked out of office, even after a court order directed that he be reinstated.

Mr Stephen Gichuki narrated the ordeal as KAA board chairman Martin Nyaga Wambora failed to convince MPs why a Sh56 billion airport expansion tender had been cancelled.

Mr Gichuki said he received a letter from the Transport PS sending him on compulsory leave, but he went to court and received an order allowing him to resume office.

“I went to the office and found that the door had been locked and my two secretaries thrown out,” he told a joint Finance, Budget and Transport committee hearing.

Mr Gichuki is at the centre of a cancellation of a Sh56 billion airport expansion tender that Transport minister Amos Kimunya ordered cancelled, regardless of Attorney-General Githu Mugai’S advice that the tendering process was above board.

On Thursday MPs questioned the role of a Chinese company that had been denied the tender, after it presented its bid 30 minutes late.

Mr Gichuki told the committee that top officials at the ministry kept asking him on several occasions why the company had been locked out, and it had presented its bid only five minutes late.

“I do not know who is behind the company, but reasons as to why its bid was cancelled have come up several times in our meetings with the Transport ministry,” the MD said.

The Chinese company, China State Corporation, was locked out for flouting procurement rules, with the suspended MD, saying there was no way he could have admitted a bid that was presented late.

Alego-Usonga MP Edwin Yinga pushed the MD to disclose who at the Transport ministry had complained that the Chinese company had been locked out, but joint committee chairman David Were sought to protect him from further scrutiny on the matter.

Mr Gichuki said he had no premises to work from, and that his official transport had been withdrawn, following the letter of suspension.

Budget committee chairman Elias Mbau said Parliament should ensure the managing director resumed office after the court directive.

Mr Mbau termed as contempt of Parliament by the Executive over plans to suspend the MD at a time when the committee was receiving submissions from him to get to the root of the matter.

“This is contempt of Parliament and the courts and something should be done to ensure premises should be found for the MD to operate from,” he said.

On Thursday, KAA management explained that the tender was done properly, and also spelled out the loss in terms of time and tax payers money of re-tendering the project.