NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – Members of Parliament from the Transport Committee have vowed that no “marriage” will take place between Kenya Airways and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) under their watch.
Speaking on Wednesday, Committee Chairperson David Pkosing (MP – Pokot South) said the reason why aviation workers went on strike Wednesday is because they do not understand the proposed Public Private Investment Program (PPIP).
“The biggest animal in this whole issue is the PPIP and it is causing anxiety because it has been shrouded with so much secrecy. We want the Executive and the ministry to hear this; there will be no marriage between KQ and KAA; how can KAA which is a money making company merge with KQ which is a money losing company? Again why would a public entity merge with a private entity? As Parliament and as a committee we have said it will not happen,” Pkosing vowed.
The MPs however called on aviation workers to resume their duties assuring them that their grievances will be well addressed by Parliament and they will be invited to appear before the committee next week.
“What we are telling Kenyans and the aviation workers is that there will be a number of legislative changes and amendments that will come to the Floor of the House in case anything happens so there will be no way they can sneak their way into that “marriage.” In fact, should there be any changes the father and the mother who will sign is the Parliament,” he said.
“So, we are pleading with all the workers to resume work and next week we will invite you to come and all your problems will be heard, and a solution will be provided.”
A strike by the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) that kicked off Wednesday morning caused a major crisis at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where hundreds of passengers are stranded since midnight.
Flight operations were affected, leading to notices from airlines – including Kenya Airways which advised passengers flying out from 11 am not to go to the airport.
“Further to the strike by KAWU members, we expect disruptions on flights. Customers on flights after 11am are advised not to come to the airport until further communication is shared,” KQ said in a statement.
Union officials said the strike was called due to several grievances about mismanagement, including the planned merger between Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Airways, in what has generated sharp criticism from a section of leaders.