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! That KAA should be left to manage the now flourishing JKIA in peace!
Comrade Babu Owino,
MP, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019.