Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Tycoon interfears with KAA MD probe

A scheme has been hatched by powerful individuals to have the suspension of Kenya Airports Authority managing director Lucy Mbugua lifted without subjecting her to  investigations.
Sources at KAA said immediately Mbugua was sent on compulsory leave, pending investigations into a controversial Duty Free shops tender, a cartel of businessmen who control tenders at the parastatal swang into action to insulate her against any action that could culminate into her eventual removal from the helm of KAA.
Among those mentioned in the campaign to have Mbugua spared the embarrasment of being subjected to grilling sessions by anti-graft agencies over irregular award of tenders at the parastatal is Nairobi tycoon Jimmy Wanjigi.
It is said if serious investigations are undertaken, it could open a can of worms on the deep mess that is KAA tenders.
For instance, an alleged error of ommission of a whopping Sh9 billion being the 16pc VAT was discovered by the ministry of Transport last year when KAA officials forwarded documents pertaining to GreenField project contract for approval. Had the ministry technocrats not been hawkeyed, Kenya Revenue Authority would have lost billions which apparently were destined into people’s pockets.
It is claimed tenders in KAA are pre-determined even before they are advertised. The advertisement is a mere formality, it is being pointed out. Wanjigi is is claimed, is the local agent of all the companies.
“All companies that are to compete with companies where Jimmy has an interest had their bid documents were interfeared with,” a source at KAA pointed out adding that tenders at KAA are won months before they are advertised.
Some top KAA managers who a few years ago were surviving on loans from banks are now millionaires owning homes and properties in leafy suburbs of the city. Mbugua owns a home which sources say is estimated to be worth Sh200 million at Kitisuru.
Lucy’s tenure at the airports authority has also seen airlines complain of poor service. Safety standards have been compromised. In the recent past, aeroplanes destined to JKIA have to be diverted to Moi International Airport Mombasa over safety issues.
Apart from Mbugua, the KAA board, under the chairmanship of David Kimaiyo, also sent on compulsory leave the general manager finance, John Thumbi, the corporation’s secretary, Catherine Kisila and procurement manager Obadia Orora.
Transport and Infrastructure PS Nduva Muli is reportedly the one who demanded that the four be sent home, to facilitate a probe into the award of a Duty Free shops tender to an international company.