In an act of outright defiance to a directive by the parliamentary committee on transport, the acting transport minister, within hours of receiving his letter confirming his acting capacity in the ministry, has appointed a new CEO for the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). The newly-appointed Stephen Gichuki was reportedly the “wish man” on former CEO George Muhoho’s list, and while parliament had directed the KAA board to start a fresh recruitment exercise, claiming the whole affair was tilted in Gichuki’s favor, the minister has ignored, if not deliberately defied, parliament with his action.
The acting minister may well need to prepare himself for another showdown with parliamentarians now in the coming days. Parliament had already unanimously censured him two years ago over allegations of his involvement in the “give away” of the Grand Regency Hotel in his then capacity as finance minister following which he was forced to resign at the time, and he has now graced his political comeback promptly with more controversy it seems. Political patronage in this case was not ruled out by sources in Nairobi, in fact to the contrary, rather suggested to this correspondent by usually well-informed individuals in the know.