Pilots: Corruption racketeers sinking KQ

 

National carrier Kenya Airways will sink further into losses if corruption rackets are not immediately eliminated, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) has warned.

The pilots say that despite a forensic audit that unmasked deep rooted corruption rackets in the airline, the top management has deliberately failed to take action against those that were found culpable.

At a press conference today at the Panafric in Nairobi, the association’s Secretary General Paul Gichinga revealed that billions have been lost through fuel hedging, ticketing rackets, air craft leasing among other areas of business operations.

The pilots also pointed out at the joint venture between KLM and the national carrier that has prompted the increasingly shrinking Europe routes as further reasons for the dwindling the fortunes of KQ.

“If there are no deliberate actions taken by the government, KQ will continue to post historic loses in the coming financial years,” Captain Gichinga warned.

Last week, the carrier posted a loss of Sh26.2 billion for the year ending March, further down compared to Sh25.7 billion loss it posted in 2014.

The pilots now want the government, one of the major shareholders, to probe the top brass of the carrier and recommend the sacking of the current CEO Mbuvi Ngunze.

They have blamed Ngunze for the continued failure saying that he lacks the moral authority and the necessarily expertise to fly the carrier back to profits.

“We ask the Cabinet Secretary and other relevant authorities to take action against Mr Ngunze. He lacks the expertise and moral authority to turn around the fortunes of KQ,” said Gichinga.

Further, they have accused Gunze for hiring inexperienced individuals to high level management positions contrary to recommendations of the Senate Committee in February early this the year.

This they say has led to deplorable working conditions and poor employee relations and has continuously hurt the airline.

“Employment of unqualified managers has led to lack decisive direction and massive brain drain of valued expertise,” he said.

According to the association records, more than 56 pilots have moved to the Middle East for more favorable working conditions and remuneration.

Gichinga team also questioned the staff-rationalizing programme that saw hundreds of Kenyans lose jobs whereas foreign employees were retained with better terms.

“It is a shame that the management prioritized to retain foreign employees whereas it sacked local employees with matching or better skills and experience,” he added.

He threatened that pilots may be forced to down their tools if no action is taken.

 

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