Omtatah petitions court to stop KQ from sending pilot trainees abroad

Human rights activist Okiya Omtatah has moved to court to stop Kenya Airways (KQ) from sending pilot trainees abroad.

Omtatah (pictured) wants the airline to be stopped from sending candidates to South Africa pursuant to its advert that closed on December 11, 2019, inviting applicants for trainee pilot positions under its Ab Initio Pilot Trainee Program.

The activist argued that the training can be offered by local schools that have the capacity and facilities to provide them.

SEE ALSO: Law review looms as BBI team gets fresh term

"I also want the court to certify this matter as urgent and be granted a hearing on a priority basis," said Omtatah in the petition filed at Milimani court.

He said that KQ has solicited and received public money to keep the company afloat. Thus, it is necessary for them to account for such funds.

"By soliciting and receiving public funds, KQ has become a public law with regard to the necessary safeguard of the said public funds, including by being bound by Kenya's public procurement laws, “he said in his petition.

For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.  

He said that under Article 10 of the Constitution, the company is also bound to be patriotic and equitable yet it continues to send its trainee pilots to train outside the country (in South Africa) while Kenya has Government Approved Training Organizations whose quality cannot be faulted.

That KQ has over years hired locally trained pilots is proof that Kenyan institutions are well equipped, he stated. He also said that other countries in the region train their pilots in Kenya.

SEE ALSO: Activist, State face off in court over SGR project

Omtatah said he is saddened by the act of disregarding Kenyan Pilot training facilities and not procuring the required training services in strict compliance with Kenya's procurement laws. He accused KQ of not using the Kenyan taxpayer funds it receives in accordance with the law.

In consequence, he added that KQ has failed to comply with both the Constitution and the Public Procurement and Asset and Disposal Act 2015.

The petition postulates that the court has powers and the jurisdiction to stop the blatant disregard for the rule of law.

The Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, National Treasury and Attorney General are the key respondents in the suit.

Some of the country’s aviation schools Nairobi Flight Training, Ninety Nines Flying, Kenya School of Flying and Flight Training Centre.

SEE ALSO: Court hits brakes on hunt for Ouko’s successor

KQ is yet to respond to the petition.

The activist was directed to serve the respondents with his petition to have the matter heard on March 4, 2020.

Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.

Get the latest summary of news in your email every morning. Subscribe below

* indicates required
Okiya OmtatahKQPilot traineesSouth Africa