The re-appointment on Friday for at least one more year of the disputed Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) CEO George Muhoho has immediately caused yet more controversy.
Muhoho’s own board, for good reasons of course, had denied his request for a contract extension or renewal some weeks ago, as this column had reported at the time. Clouds of suspicion and allegations were hanging over Muhoho in connection with several KAA projects, and the board eventually must have thought enough is enough, sending him into what they thought “retirement.”
No one counted on the Minister of Transport in Nairobi, however, who only days earlier had appointed the KAA deputy CEO as “acting CEO” for the time being, before obviously bowing to immense political pressure and bringing Muhoho back. Muhoho had reportedly already cleared out his office.
George Muhoho, a former cabinet minister in previous administrations, is already in his ‘70s and retirement should be a bonus at this age, but with many building activities planned under KAA’s auspices the opportunity to remain in office must have been too juicy a proposition.
Muhoho is, according to some sources, also the brother of former first lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, who is also the mother of the deputy prime minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, lending credibility to claims made in Nairobi over the weekend that this was purely political maneuvering to ‘keep him in bread’ as one source put it to this column.
The board of the KAA will now have to consider if they are ready to accept such political interference in their work and decisions, as they were set to decide on a new CEO purely based on track record and performance in past positions, and there is of course speculations if some or all of them may resign to register their dissent with the minister’s decision. The minister himself is now also in the cross hairs of anti corruption advocates and activists.