The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) board has named Mr Nicholas Bodo, a Ministry of Transport executive, as the acting Director-General after a court blocked the appointment of Emile Nguza Arao on abuse of office and financial misappropriation allegations.
Mr Bodo, currently the Director of Air Services at the Transport ministry takes over pending the hearing of a suit filed by a lobby, Sheria Mtaani, challenging the appointment of Mr Arao.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia last month appointed Mr Arao for a period of three years.
He was supposed to take over from Mr Gilbert Kibe, who exits the State Corporation today after serving for two three-year terms.
“They have been forced to appoint Mr Bodo as the acting director-general of KCAA until the case is determined,’’ a top source familiar with the details told the Business Daily yesterday.
Mr Kibe will be leaving KCAA after serving a two-year term at the authority that is mandated with the management, regulation and operation of a safe, secure and efficient air transport system in Kenya.
Mr Arao formerly headed the East African Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (EAC-Cassoa).
He has been battling allegations of incompetence and misuse of finances at Cassoa after the East African Legislative Assembly, in an audit report, fingered him over poor management of finances and recommended he be personally held accountable.
The assembly accused Arao of presiding over questionable and excessive administrative and consultancy expenses, payments of staff education allowances, travel costs and issues of improper running of the body.
But the petitioners Sheria Mtaaani and Shadrack Wamboi moved to the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nakuru and obtained orders on March 17 blocking Mr Arao from taking up the job.
But Mr Rao has dismissed the petitioner’s prayers arguing that his case is based on unfounded allegations.
He says that if there was massive pilferage of massive funds, mismanagement, wastage, or theft, the audited financial statement and management letter would have led to a qualification of the accounts and this has not happened.