Nairobi-based aviation sources late yesterday confirmed that the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) appears to be heading into more controversy when apparently sometime in April the organization cancelled two contract awards given in November last year to a foreign exchange operator and Kenya’s catering giant NAS for provision of services in one of the new terminals.
Both sources confirmed that no reasons were given when the contracts were cancelled, and in the case of NAS, the company had apparently already purchased equipment to be installed to provide meal and drink services while the forex bureau reportedly had already constructed their offices.
It could not be established in the short period of time until publication what prompted KAA to cancel the contracts but one of the sources suggested that a new tender for the same services included an exclusion clause of existing concessionaires being prevented from applying.
This sadly is in line with a series of other cases where KAA had been taken to court in the past, with several cases still pending. More recently, KAA and the Kenya government canceled the contract award for the new Greenfield Terminal which included construction of a second, and long-overdue runway and connecting taxiways, suddenly suggesting that the rational which led to the project in the first place was no longer valid and the existing modernization and addition of Terminal 1A and 2 was sufficient for the longer future.
Said one of the sources on condition of anonymity: “The moment a contract is awarded, others cry foul and begin to meddle and peddle influence. It happened with duty-free shops; now it happens with other areas like catering, too. Meanwhile … passengers go without much-needed services. This, like other cases, will no doubt head to court, and KAA’s case is weak. If they made an error along the way in the tenders, it is their problem once they signed a contract. The[y] break the contract, and of course they must be sued for damages. The large number of such cases portrays the entire organization as unprofessional and amateurish, and their positive accomplishments are completely overshadowed by such stories. It starts from their chairman, who as we all know was sacked as police boss over his tinted-glass directives and many other faux pas and failures. People like him should go home to their farms and not be given other high-profile jobs of which they know nothing. Then it goes on to management where there have been too many changes and sackings, suspensions, and all, and that all started with Muhoho as CEO when a lot of controversy and court cases began.”