Murkomen blames Jubilee government over JKIA's sorry state

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen. [File, Standard]

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen has blamed the Jubilee government for the sorry state of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

In a statement, Murkomen said that the Kenya Kwanza administration found airports all over the country in a bad state.

“At the start of President William Ruto’s administration last year, we found dilapidated infrastructure at our airports, and even though we have done our best to address the problem, some issues remain because of previous long-term neglect,” he said.

Murkomen and President Ruto were part of the Jubilee government as Elgeyo Marakwet Senator and Deputy President respectively.

According to Murkomen, much of the work done in the last days of the Jubilee government was sub-standard.

“The leaking roof at JKIA reported on Monday was a product of neglect by past governments,” adds Murkomen.

He says that the contractor has already been asked to redo the works at the temporary terminal while directing the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) and the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to sort out drainage issues.

He said that the government will construct a new modern terminal at JKIA.

“The plans are at the design stage, and we will begin procurement under a Public-Private Partnership plan in January,” he said.

Murkomen also blamed the contractor tasked with ensuring that JKIA had backup power for its failure following a recent nationwide blackout.

“Twenty seconds can be excusable, but not 20 minutes. We want an automatic changeover.”

The CS said that the government was in talks with people who live within the Ukunda Airport for the relocation to pave the way for the newly extended runaway to start operations.

The 1.2-kilometer runway was extended by 200 meters and can now accommodate planes carrying 80 passengers up from 50, which is expected to increase the number of people visiting South Coast.

“The full use of the extended runway will also cut the cost of flights by half – from the current average of Sh20,000 to Sh10,000.”