Jubilee must save Kenya Airways, says ODM boss
31 July 2015, 16:43
Nairobi - The Jubilee government must ensure Kenya Airways survives, ODM Chairman John Mbadi has said.
The national carrier is in deep trouble, having declared losses of KES 25.7 billion for the last financial year and most expecting it to go down on its knees very soon.
The way forward for the highly important national carrier is yet to be known but according to Mbadi, it cannot be allowed to go down.
The ripple effect of a KQ demise, he says is just too big to comprehend.
" As you are all aware, our national carrier Kenya Airways has run into serious turbulence. KQ declared a record KES 25.7 billion loss yesterday. And as you can see, we fear the worst may be yet to come for KQ. We do not want to contemplate the collapse of Kenya Airways. It must not happen. At the same time, the auditor general has exposed massive a continuing tale of rot and mismanagement of public finances by the National Government. The Jubilee regime is unable to account for more than KES 66 billion," he said.
" The case of KQ is sad indeed. At the current estimate, the Jomo Kenyatta International airport is a daily turnover of KES 00 million- KES 500 million. This is largely attributed to KQ operations. Should KQ go down, it will go with between 50 to 60 per cent of this turnover not to mention the thousands of jobs. It will also go down with our pride as a nation," he added.
Mbadi was however quick to note that the government has to bring forward and prosecute those behind KQ's woes.
" When we look at the rapid descent to this appalling current status of the airline, the indication is that it has not only been gradual but also sustained decline. But Kenyans were never told. And what this tells us is that the management and the auditors have been cooking the books and deceiving both the Kenyan public and the shareholders about the actual financial status of the airline".
" Equally worrying is the fact that as the woes of the airline have deepened and its share value has been on a rapid descent at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, one or two Kenyans have been on a buying spree, snapping those falling shares at a rate that betrays some kind of insider information, thus being indicative that there is advance knowledge and preparation for the imminent collapse.
" Too many questions need to be answered. Why has every single share of KQ lately been bought by one or two people Who are these people and why are they so interested in the shares when the company is going down What is the end game in KQ’s problems?," he asked.
So far, the government has yet to comment officially on the KQ issue, with insiders stating that a statement will come on the matter as early as next week.
Mbadi wants a quick explanation to Kenyans.
" The government, as the single largest shareholder, must immediately institute a thorough forensic audit of the airline, using a reputable international audit firm. That firm must also audit the KPMG, which has been auditing the airline’s accounts, and which appears to have been party to the cover up that is now coming out. The National Treasury must equally account to Kenyans. We need a thorough look into the Strategy and Planning the airline had put in place and why that department was disbanded by either the CEO or both the CEO and the board of Directors.
" We need to understand why and how an airline like KQ could operate without such a vital department. In recent years, the airline has been on a route-opening spree. Kenyans need to be told what informed the opening of those routes. For instance, what informed the decision by the airline to fly to Vietnam Who was doing the route and market analysis The airline has been on a spree of buying aircrafts, which looked like a good idea. We now know that it was buying aircrafts, but without routes.
" It appears all that mattered was the cut some individuals were getting out of every purchase. What we have come to learn is that this plan was used by some individuals in the management and government to cut deals through offshore briefcase companies during the purchase of the aircrafts.
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