Kenya Airways fall is plot to seize firm, says Orange party

The Orange Democratic Movement claims there is a scheme to bring down Kenya Airways so that it can be acquired by “corrupt cartels”.

ODM chairman John Mbadi said the dip in profits of the airline appears to have been created to force critical staff into going on strike and quitting to provide an excuse for the take over of the company.

Mr Mbadi spoke Friday after holding a meeting with Cord leader Raila Odinga at the latter’s office at Capitol Hill, Nairobi.

He was accompanied by other ODM MPs and said the government must protect the airline.

On Thursday, Kenya Airways announced a loss of Sh25.7 billion after tax for 12 months ending March.

Mr Mbadi urged the government, as the single largest shareholder of the airline, to immediately institute a forensic audit by a reputable international firm.

“That firm must also audit KPMG, which has been auditing the airline’s accounts,” he said. “The National Treasury must equally account to Kenyans.”

He was accompanied by MPs Junet Mohamed, Jakoyo Midiwo, Zuleka Hassan, Simba Arati and Opiyo Wandayi, among others.

The party also demanded a lifestyle audit of the airline’s past and current managers, including of what they own locally and abroad.

“Where necessary, foreign governments must be asked to cooperate and help with the investigation of the airline’s officials, who we are aware own substantial properties in those countries.”

Despite the national carrier’s share value depreciating at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, one or two Kenyans have been on a buying spree, snapping the falling shares “at a rate that betrays some kind of insider information”, he claimed.

He said the dealings point to “an advance knowledge and preparation for the imminent collapse”.

JKIA DAILY TURNOVER

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has a daily turnover of between Sh400 million and Sh500 million, which is largely attributed to Kenya Airways, according to the ODM chairman.

“Should Kenya Airways go down, it will go with between 50 and 60 per cent of this turnover, not to mention thousands of jobs.

Go down with our pride

“It will also go down with our pride as a nation,” he said.

Kenya Airway’s current status indicates it has been on sustained gradual decline, he said, accusing the carrier’s management and auditors of having been “cooking” its books and deceiving the public and shareholders about its actual financial status.

“Too many questions need to be answered. Why has every single share of Kenya Airways lately been bought by one or two people?

“Who are these people and why are they so interested in the shares when the company is going down?

“What is the end game in Kenya Airway’s problems?”

The Sh26 billion loss could not have occurred overnight, he added.