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KQ procurement boss marks latest exit in managerial purge

Eng Christopher Oanda had been in charge of KQ's supply chain department for nearly nine years. FILE PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NMG
Eng Christopher Oanda had been in charge of KQ's supply chain department for nearly nine years. FILE PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NMG 

The haemorrhage of senior Kenya Airways staff continued yesterday with the announcement that the airline’s procurement manager has left the company.

Christopher Oanda, who has been in charge of the supply chain department for nearly nine years, left KQ effective October 16 (Monday), according to a memo sent to staff by the airline’s human resource manager Sammy Chepkwony.

“This is to announce that Christopher Onuonga Oanda, who has been the head of procurement, has separated from the company. His last day of service is October 16,” said Mr Chepkwony.

Mr Oanda’s departure comes just a week after KQ let go of four other managers as the shake-up of the airline’s senior management continues under the watch of its CEO Sebastian Mikosz.

Catherine Moraa (head of internal audit), Lucy Muhiu (head of employee relations), Kevin Kinyanjui (information systems director), and Brian Mbuti (in-flight and jet fuel procurement) all left KQ early this month.

“This is to announce that Christopher Onuonga Oanda, who has been the head of procurement, has separated from the company. His last day of service is October 16,” said Mr Chepkwony.

Mr Oanda, who has previously held various procurement roles at British American Tobacco #ticker:BAT (BAT) and oil marketer Total #ticker:TOTL, was instrumental in KQ’s operations under former CEOs Titus Naikuni and Mbuvi Ngunze.

Ms Moraa, Ms Muhiu and Mr Kinyanjui also worked at Kenya Airways for over a dozen years under the two leadership regimes.

Board support

The exits of the managers come shortly after Mr Mikosz hired five expatriates from Poland – his home country - a decision that has caused tension among workers who see it as a purge of individuals hired under the former CEOs.

Mr Mikosz, with the blessing of the KQ board, hired five expatriates his former employer, LOT Polish Airlines, effective September 1.

The new CEO, who took over the reins of the troubled KQ from Mr Ngunze on June 1, said the five have been brought on board for a three-month contract but fell short of clarifying whether the contracts are subject to extension.

The five are Monika Kietyka-Michna, Edyta Kijewska-Teny, Magdalena Serwach, Marcin Celejewski and Micha Mierciak.

Their jobs at KQ were not been specified, but Mr Mikosz explained that the new team would not be replacing any members of KQ’s senior management but would, rather, work with the existing team to improve operations.

The entry the Polish team signals the company’s belief that negligence or incompetence of its top leadership played a role in its slump to losses that wiped out shareholder wealth.

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