Don't blame Murkomen in JKIA power trouble - DP

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen at the JKIA on November 15, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has defended Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen regarding the frequent power outages at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Gachagua said Murkomen is diligently working to streamline services in the transport sector.

“Kipchumba is trying. I am seeing some people blaming him, that he needs to resign because the generator at JKIA does not work,” said Gachagua.

He added that the issues at JKIA were not caused by Murkomen and called on politicians to refrain from blaming leaders who are actively working to correct the challenges inherited from the past government.

The Deputy President made the remarks in response to sustained attacks on Murkomen for the problems at JKIA.

The DP’s comments followed Murkomen’s interview on Spice FM about the successes and challenges experienced since he took office.

“I preside over a ministry that has achieved a lot over the last year. We have achieved a lot when it comes to the railway progress in the transportation of goods, unlocking of business between us and Uganda, and seamless movement of wagons,” Murkomen said.

The CS attributed the frequent power blackouts at JKIA to a shortage of human resources and neglect.

Barely 48 hours after alluding to the problem as sabotage, Murkomen said in addition to a shortage of staff, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is also grappling with systemic problems that have persisted for decades.

“There is a problem when it comes to human resources at the airport. There is a feeling that many people of a certain stage don’t want to work. Even if you buy the best equipment, everything depends on the human resource,” said Murkomen.

CS Murkomen was responding to the power outage experienced at JKIA for the third time within three months, plunging the facility into darkness. The situation has sparked uproar across the country as the public decries incompetency in the management of the critical facility. He said a former manager had tipped him off about sabotage within the facility.

Murkomen said he had accomplished a lot in the sector. “Let us not lose sight of the fact that we have opened new airline routes to Migori, Homa Bay, and Kakamega. I have facilitated new airlines to operate in Nairobi and Mombasa.”