JKIA airport: passengers alight from a JKIA plane

Ongoing investigations by parliament on the connection between a bank associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family and the takeover of JKIA management by loss-making Kenya Airways have been reported.

The Kenya Airports Authority board have been summoned by Members of the Public Investment Committee on Thursday, to respond to their growing concerns.

Moreover, there are demands by lawmakers that the identities of the other KQ shareholders besides the State be revealed

 Appearing before the committee yesterday, KAA chief executive officer, John Andersen confirmed the debts.

He confirmed that the airline owes CBA Group Sh3.1 billion, NIC Sh2.1 billion, Equity Bank Sh5.2 billion, National Bank Sh3.5 billion, Co-operative Bank (Sh3.3 billion, DTB Sh2.1 billion and KCB Group Sh2.1 billion.

Andersen, however, claimed not to have details   on the powerful forces behind the airport deal even after being pressed by Members of Parliament.

“I cannot speculate on the reason behind the deal or the faces behind it. We were approached by Kenya Airways on this matter and also got a Cabinet memo seeking that we manage the process,” he said.

The legislators have maintained there is more than meets the eye as the KAA chairperson is the same person whose bank seeks to recover money from KQ.

They are also concerned that Kenya Airways owes KAA Sh3.8 billion and is losing its hold of the East African market share and the country is at risk of losing billions of shillings in revenue should KAA be allowed to proceed.

 “KQ is a loss-making entity, hence, cannot be entrusted with the management of a profit-making airport,” PIC chairman Abdulswamad Nassir said.

Legislators further questioned how Kenya Airways allegedly initiated the deal before the Cabinet memo on the venture was served to KAA.

The committee has written to the Investments Secretary, demanding to know who the real shareholders at KQ are, noting that the proposed JKIA takeover will not be viable.

In addition, they want Treasury to furnish the information by the second week of April, saying there is a lot at stake.