The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) wants the government to institute an independent audit into the operations and aircraft leasing of Kenya Airways following the airline’s Sh26 billion loss.
Party Chairman John Mbadi said the government should send its oversight committees to Kenya Airways to conduct independent forensic investigation into the loss.
“The government, as the single largest shareholder, must immediately institute a thorough forensic audit of the airline using a reputable international audit firm.”
“The National Treasury must equally account to Kenyans. We need a thorough look into the strategy and planning the airline had put in place and why that department was disbanded by either CEO or both the CEO and the Board of Directors. We need to understand why and how an airline like KQ could operate without a vital department,” the ODM Chairman said after a National Executive Council meeting which was chaired by Party Leader Raila Odinga.
Mbadi said it is sad that the shocking loss occurred despite Parliament approving a Sh4 billion emergency loan for the national carrier.
KQ partly blamed the loss on a decline in Kenya’s tourism sector and travel advisories some countries issued warning about terror threats in certain areas around the country.
ODM attributed the root cause of the loss to corruption and management crisis at the airline.
Mbadi said: “The case of KQ is sad indeed. At the current estimate, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is a daily turnover of Sh400 million to Sh500 million. This is largely attributed to KQ operations. Should KQ go down, it will go with between 50 to 60 percent of this turnover not to mention the thousands of jobs. It will also go down with our pride as nation.”
“When we look at the rapid descent to this appalling current status of the airline, the indication is that it has not only been gradual but also sustained decline.” 1 | 2
The opposition party wants the audit to look into what it calls route-opening spree and buying aircraft spree and what informed the business decisions given that Strategic and Planning Department had been disbanded.
“The management of Kenya Airways must explain to Kenyans why the airline has been giving guarantees for aircrafts leased through third parties and h this contributed to the airline’s tickets costing much higher than normal market,” he told journalists at the party’s offices.
The opposition demanded investigations of members of the board of Kenya Airways for culpability.
“We therefore call on government to secure and protect the servers of the airline and the paper trail of all that has gone on at the company. They must secure the minutes of all board meeting where critical decisions were taken on the operations of the company,” Mbadi said.