The former Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director Lucy Mbugua who was summarily dismissed from office owing to the controversial apron bus scandal eight years ago has been appointed the Regional Director for the Eastern and Southern African Office at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Mbugua’s comeback into the public limelight after being hounded out of office in 2015 will see her oversee operations of aviation top organ in over ten countries.
Yesterday, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said the appointment was made by the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization in concurrence with the Kenyan government.
“Her expertise and strategic leadership has helped streamline aviation transport operations and moulded sustainable operations for Kenya’s air transport.” Murkomen said.
In 2014, Relief & Mission Logistics won the contract to ferry passengers on the airside at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for a period of 8 years and of which was to expire last year 2022.
But the contract was, however, terminated on June 5,2015 after retired president Kenyatta visited the airport in May 2015 on a public resources random audit mission and in the process, was flabbergasted to find out that KAA was paying Sh11 million every month for Relief and Mission logistics’ 5 buses services.
According to report prepared by an internal auditor in the wake of the then president Kenyatta’s concerns showed that the cost charged by the bidder was to be recovered from the airlines since the apron buses service was not meant to be free but in contrary, it was noted that since the introduction to the apron service on November 28, 2014, the airlines had been getting the service for free.
For the eight years, Relief & Mission Logistics was to earn Sh1billion in fees.
Mbugua was sacked alongside Chief Finance Officer John Thumbi and Airport Engineer Christopher Warutere.
Directors of the company maintained that they had not received a penny despite investing Sh245million in the project.
They claimed to had spent Sh200million to buy the five apron buses and paid Sh45million in taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
“Mbugua’s appointment to such a reputable global aviation body is great news for the country’s growth and development in the aviation and transport sector. It lays the foundation for further breakthroughs within our transport sector and opens the door to further recognition of our efforts to innovate and revolutionize air transport for economic transformation.” Murkomen yesterday.
The Eastern and Southern Africa Office within ICAO is mainly responsible for maintaining continuous liaison with the 24 States to which it is accredited with the Regional Director serving as the Representative of the Secretary-General to the accredited States in the Region.