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Controversial JKIA Apron buses were smuggled into the country

01 July 2015, 09:32 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) board revealed to a Parliamentary committee that the controversial five Apron buses that charged KES 10 million monthly for services at JKIA were irregularly procured and smuggled into the country.

The board’s chair, David Kimaiyo who led a team of five members before the National Assembly Transport committee said the suspended Managing Director, Lucy Mbugua and her management is to be held responsible for the unlawful procurement of the buses.

“The KAA board did not approve the procurement of Apron buses as an item by itself and we were shocked to learn that the buses were not for KAA,” said Kimaiyo.

The board revealed that Mbugua was behind the initial procurement process of the buses back in 2007 while serving as the General marketing Director in 2011 when she pushed for their irregular procurement as the authority’s MD.

“There was monkey business and the business of procuring Apron buses was upside down from the first day because there was the business case was not developed,” said Kevin Kihara, the KAA Finance director.

Read Also: Kimaiyo sacks Mbugua as KAA boss

“The buses were smuggled in the country and there is prove no duty was paid on their importation. KAA officer wrote to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for waiver of duty on the buses and Simba system records at Kilindini harbor in Mombasa provides full prove,” he revealed.

Kimaiyo told the Transport committee chaired by Maina Kamanda (Starehe MP) that he had contacted the KRA Commissioner General, John Njiraini over reasons given by the KAA official for waiver of duty on the buses.

“I have been following this matter and agreed to meet the KRA Commissioner General today to see the content of the letter,” said Kimaiyo.

“The board’s decision to suspend some directors does not mean we have malice with anyone at KAA but only following on documents with questions on integrity and have component of criminality,” he added.

Read Also: KAA admits irregularities in JKIA bus leasing deal

The newly reconstituted board pledged to restore sanity in the authority and pointed out that the management was hampered by an array of corruption malpractices because of much power vested in a few individuals to make decisions without the board’s input.

“The board is working to end impunity at KAA management. We have come out strongly to ensure officers are well-disciplined to have a credible management where everything is done in transparency,” assured Kimaiyo.

However, the MPs asked the police to bring to book both KAA and KRA officers who colluded to pave way for duty waiver on the buses to deny the government its revenue.

“If the buses were smuggled into the country, it is a criminal act and we don’t understand why responsible persons are not yet in court. The buses should be handed to KRA to dispose them off,” said Luanda MP, Christopher Omulele.

The committee is set to summon more KAA officials to shed light on the irregular procurement practices at the authority before it comes up with a reported to be tabled in Parliament.   

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