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Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen warns of legal action against KALPA for court order defiance

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary nominee Kipchumba Murkomen. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen has warned striking pilots of looming legal action against them.

In a statement, Murkomen also addressed the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) saying he assured them of their [government] willingness to talk.

“From the onset, the Government has expressed interest in the well-being of Kenya Airways as one of the strategic companies in a very critical economic sector. The Government is seized of the challenges bedevilling the national carrier - challenges that have been in existence since the advent of Project Mawingu in 2011,” said Murkomen.

The CS noted that that indeed the talks had hit a stalemate.

“In the last two days, there has been relentless efforts by the Ministry of Labour and my Ministry to try and resolve this issue. These efforts have however come to naught,” said Murkomen.

The continued strike, according to Murkomen is setting the stage for legal action against KALPA and the pilots.

“Considering the defiance of KALPA and their total disregard for the existing court order – which is at the heart of the rule of law - the Ministry of Labour now has to activate the procedures governing industrial relations.

I urge the pilots to be mindful of the consequences of defying a court order and to urgently return to work because impunity cannot be an option.” said Murkomen.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), whose members are majorly from Kenya Airways, downed their tools on Saturday morning after a 14-day notice.

On Saturday, about 53 planes destined for regional and international destinations were canceled at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Two planes scheduled for Mumbai were rescheduled.

The cancellation and rescheduling affected over 10,000 passengers, who were stranded at the airport.

On Sunday morning, KQ announced the resumption of Nairobi to Entebbe, Mombasa, and Lusaka flights.

KQ is yet to give directions on its flights to other routes.