Embakasi East MP Babu Owino has strongly condemned the proposed takeover of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The firebrand legislator has also threatened to lead daily protests against Kenya Airways.
Speaking at the JKIA on Wednesday, March 6, the former students’ leader said the planned takeover deal is “fraudulent and ill-timed”.
“I am a member of the Public Investment Committee and we called the CEO of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Johny Andersen too explain this takeover. This is a fraudulent takeover.”
“I will lead demonstrations daily to ensure KQ does not take over KAA. This was just the beginning. We are aware KQ is a loss-making loss company, KAA is a public company that has been making profit. There is no way a company that makes losses can take operations of one that is doing well,” added Babu.
In a follow-up statement on his social pages, Babu Owino noted that JKIA is in his constituency and he won’t allow Kenya Airports Authority employees to be sacked for protesting the takeover.
Read Babu Owino statement on the JKIA takeover and strike by aviation workers.
IN SUPPORT OF THE KAA STAFF STRIKE
Kenya Airports Authority workers have today morning began a strike action aimed at drawing attention to the proposed take over of the management of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Kenya Airways.
When this matter was brought to Parliament, I strongly and vehemently opposed any such action and I hold the same position today. I am in full support of the strike and I call upon the Government to terminate this bad idea with immediate effect.
Anybody suggesting that such a move is progressive is being mischievous. Last year, under the management of KAA, JKIA won the acclaimed award for Africa’s Airport of the Year for its excellence in air cargo at a ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa. How can such a company be taken over by a company that reported a net loss of 4 billion shillings last year and 5.6 billion shillings the year before that?
Kenya Airways’ debt collectively stands at over 100 billion shillings! How can JKIA which is fast becoming a continental leader be taken over by KQ which continues to be a public embarrassment?
JKIA has in recent years moved from strength to strength while KQ has moved into financial doldrums. This move must be opposed by everybody who means well for Kenya.
More specifically, JKIA lies in my constituency and I oppose this take over because of the potential job losses that will result. Under the Presidential Big 4 agenda, we are meant to be creating jobs for Kenyans not destroying lives. I will not allow a single person employed by KAA to be sent home as a result of the selfish and greedy ambitions of a few people trying to force this deal through for their own aggrandizement!
I further condemn the reported arrest of the Kenya Airport Workers Union Secretary General Mr Moss Ndiema as illegal and unconstitutional. I urge comrade airport workers not to be intimidated; history is on their side!
I will begin a dialogue and I am in the process of seeking out the relevant stakeholders including the CS Transport James Macharia, the CS Treasury Henry Rotich, the Management of KQ and KAA as well as the Unions to come to the table and all agree that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!