In an embarrassing shift of blame one year after the president William Ruto’s led administration came into power, Road and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has now shifted blame of rampant power outages and mismanagement of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) the retired president Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime.
Now, Murkomen said the remedy would be to build a new modern terminal at JKIA in a move to resolve problems that have been facing the facility.
However, Murkomen oversaw leadership changes within Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) top leadership months after assuming office but no responsibility has been apportioned to the office bearers he installed as the CS so far.
Instead, the CS said plans are underway and the designs are being made where procurement is expected to be made in January 2024 under a public-private partnership.
He added that the Kenya Kwanza government found a dilapidated airport infrastructure and is doing its best to address the problems as many of them remain an issue due to long-term neglect.
While addressing the media yesterday in Kwale, the CS claimed much of the work done by the Uhuru regime was substandard.
On the leaking roof at the JKIA that sparked hue and outcry, Murkomen said it is as a result of neglect by the previous government.
“We found a dilapidated infrastructure at our airports and we are doing our best to address the problem. The chickens have come home to roost. We have asked the contractor to redo the works at the temporary terminal, while the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) have been redirected to sort the drainage issue.” Murkomen said.
The CS said the contractor has taken too long to ensure a changeover to the standby generator to help address the issue of power blackout.
He said the facility needs an automatic generator turnover and not the experienced 20 minutes of blackout before the changeover.
“Twenty seconds can be excusable, but not 20 minutes. We want an automatic changeover.” Murkomen added.
Further, Murkomen said the government is in talks with residents near the Ukunda airport for their relocation so as to pave the way for an extended runway to begin the operations.
The 1.2 KM runway was extended by 200M and it can now accommodate planes with an 80-passenger capacity from the previous 50.
This is aimed at increasing the number of tourists both local and international to the south coast.