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Shipping & Logistics

Aviation staff back probe on former KQ chiefs

Kenya Aviation Workers Union Secretary
Kenya Aviation Workers Union Secretary-General Moss Ndiema. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA  

Aviation workers have supported plans by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to open a probe into the previous management of loss-making carrier Kenya Airways.

The Kenya Aviation Workers Union (Kawu) secretary-general Moses Ndiema said in a statement Tuesday that they fully support the probe, hoping that the DCI will help unravel the deep-rooted rot in the airline’s procurement system.

The airline has been accused in the past of engaging in scandalous procurement deals, the latest being the hiring of Salama Fikira to offer the outgoing chief executive Sebastian Mikosz private security to the tune of Sh13 million under questionable circumstances.

A leaked August 2016 audit report by Deloitte also accused KQ of a complex scheme in which employees of the airline colluded with bankers, suppliers, ticketing agents and oil companies to steal from the airline through forgery and manipulation of the accounts.

The auditors also found two repatriation transactions — one for ZAR3 million and one for AED2 million — in respect of which no payment had been received from Dubai Bank into a KQ Central Bank account.

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The total value of these transactions was $700,000, with two employees in the finance department found culpable. A loss of $5.2 million was recorded by the airline from these dubious transactions with Dubai Bank. These procurement irregularities among others are now the subject of an ongoing probe, which the airline says they welcome and are willing to engage with the DCI to provide necessary support and information.

It is not yet clear which firms and individuals are being targeted under the probe however, a few days ago, reports emerged that former KQ chief executive Titus Naikuni was also under probe over Sh100 billion lost between 2003 and 2014.

Detectives are also said to be probing the financial period between 2017/8 and 2018/9 inquiring about members of the procurement and tender committee for the same period.

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