Home » Top management at Kenya Airports Authority aim at swindling Ksh. 14 billion set aside to upgrade airports and airstrips countrywide

Top management at Kenya Airports Authority aim at swindling Ksh. 14 billion set aside to upgrade airports and airstrips countrywide

Top management at Kenya Airports Authority is reportedly targeting Ksh. 14 billion allocation from the government set aside  to upgrade airports and airstrips across the country.

Already, parliamentary committee on transport has raised eyebrows on the projects mostly white elephants ones.

Words making rounds has it that senior managers are using powerful political connections of the current KAA MD, a foreigner married to a Kikuyu lady, to engage in wanton looting.

To them, it will be impossible for the MD to be arrested as he is contract, enjoys impunity and his embassy in the capital city of Nairobi will cry foul, should anything occur.

Concern has been that come of the projects, where billions of shillings are being pumped into, hardly receive a flight in and are a liability to taxpayers who are funding them.

To complicate matters, tenders are awarded even to firms with no experience and shoddy works are carried out. An airport construction project was awarded to an influential Somali tycoon to construct an airport that has been at the centre of discussion in aviation industry as to whether it was warranted.

To be expanded among others, are Malindi and Isiolo airports, to meet international standards and accommodate larger aircraft.

Serious concern by MPs we talked to are that the state of Kakamega, Webuye, Garissa, Busia, Suneka airports and airstrips that are in bad shape turned into idle fields.

KAA is set to spend Ksh. 5.7 billion on Malindi Airport and another Ksh. 2 billion has been budgeted towards expansion of the Isiolo Airport.

Industry players say the Isiolo project is not realistic but being pushed by a cartel at KAA top management for personal gains.

Isiolo county woman representative Rehema Jaldesa has questioned the expenditure on the project claiming no flights are received at the airport.

Kenyanbulletin.com has information that the government is set to splash Ksh. 7 billion on 22 airports and airstrips across the country.

Kenya Airports Authority managing director is Jonny Andersen. Top managers implicated in Suneka multimillions scandal are Alex Gitai, general manager finance, Patrick Wanjuki, procurement and logistics, Fred Odawo, project and engineering services, Harrison Pepela, operations and safety, Solomon Haleli, security officer and Kasaina Ole Pertet in charge of information technology, Odawa, Gitahi, Samson Kimilu, Henry Ohoye and Wanjuki.

The Suneka project is just one of the many upgrading of airstrips across the country the crooks are currently using to mint millions. KAA was allocated money to improve local airstrips but many have been turned into white elephant projects.

The construction of Suneka Airstrip by Vinbel International Limited is suspicious. Issues have been raised over the slow pace towards completion of the phase one of the airstrip stalling phase two.

Odawa is said to have been the face behind the award of Suneka tender to Vinbel International. Odawa and Gitahi are said to own properties in Nairobi and operate dollar accounts, Odawa has registered companies in the name of proxies that do business supplies with firms involved in airstrips across the country. Gitahi has apartments along Kiambu road. He boasts to be in business deals with businessman Stanley Kinyanjui of Magnate Ventures.

The contract for phase 1 Suneka Airstrip was awarded for Sh53m with commencement date being December 14, 2015 but the contractor Vincent Marube has continued to request for extension of project time with the current being October 18.

Marube claims to have links with powerful forces in Transport ministry. On Marube payroll are Kenya Airports Authority engineering department staff.

As a result, KAA staff rarely visits the site and have not produced payment schedules for the project.

Caught in the scam are general manager Kisumu International Airport and KAA general manager department of projects. Kenyanbulletin.com has established that KAA headquarters had sidelined the Kisumu office in the project. Already, Sh24 million had already been paid to the contractor on reimbursement terms.

The general manager Kisumu International Airport, Selina Gor has openly complained she was not aware of the payments schedule even after the contractor reported that he was in constant communication with the national KAA bosses.

According to a report by KAA concerning the airstrip dated June 11 2019, the upgrade of the airstrip is in two phases to expand the facility to accommodate commercial flights.

Phase one involves construction of a passage terminal lounge, gate house, fencing and car park, while phase two requires extension of the existing runway from 1km to a minimum of at least 1.2km, widening of the runway width and rehabilitation of the apron and taxiway pavements.

The second phase of the works was awarded to AlroLogistiques Company Limited at Sh134,000,946 but the works were to start after phase one is done.

Marube however, cited various challenges including delayed payment by KAA, failure to find tiles and paint that were approved during initial commencement of the project and which were unavailable in the market, and the long duration taken by KAA to approve different ones.
Suneka Airstrip project manager Julius Wagai’s name also features in the scandal