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Blackout: Ruto warns Kenya Power boss as Murkomen apologises to public

The Kenyan Government apologised to Kenyans especially those who were at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and were affected by a country-wide blackout.

On Friday, August 25, 2023, in Karen, President William Ruto cautioned the CEOs of Kenya Power and the Kenya Communication Authority (KCA) to carry out their responsibilities in alignment with legal mandates.

President Ruto emphasized, “They should exercise the responsibilities of their offices in accordance with the law. Kenyans do not want to see a repeat of what happened during the Presidential debate where a huge section of Kenya was subjected to a blackout.”

Also read: Why there is a country-wide blackout: Areas electricity has been restored

Five days before the nationwide blackout, on August 21, 2023, President Ruto had made an impromptu visit at JKIA where he made several inspections within the interior and exterior of the airport.

He was accompanied by Foreign Affairs CS Dr Alfred Mutua amongst other leaders and he went around as he interacted with Kenyans.

In his statement after the impromptu visit President Ruto said that he was focused on building an efficient, modern, comfortable, friendly, and customer-focused airport that would be a national asset that would encourage airlines to operate, visitors to return, investors to stay and traders to make money.

“Visited the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to assess its facilities, operations and customer service after seeing off Indonesia President @jokowi, who was on a State Visit,” the Head of State said in a statement.

However, four days after the President’s visit, a nationwide blackout occurred on Friday night adversely affecting travel schedules at JKIA.

Also read: How we conducted the 2022 elections – ex-IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati

This saw Kipchumba Murkomen the Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport and Public Works apologised to those who were affected especially at JKIA.

“I am really sorry for what has happened at JKIA with the blackout. There is no excuse worth reporting and there is no reason why our airport is in darkness. I will be announcing the decision we will make tomorrow at 9 am at JKIA after a meeting with the leadership of the airport. Once again I am sorry,” Mr Murkomen said in a tweet.

Kenyans also went on an online onslaught as they complained of the power black-out which they said had affected their travel.

Jubilee activist Pauline Njoroge said that all the planes that were supposed to land at JKIA when the blackout kicked off were redirected to South Africa.

“Kenyans and business people are stuck in S.A. We are in worldwide shame because JKIA has no backup generator and Kenya Power has decided #blackout is the way to go. End Kenya power monopoly,” she posted on Twitter.

Junior Makori said that there was a need for Murkomen to resign because of the power interruptions at JKIA.

“We are calling out the CS roads and transport Kipchumba Murkomen to leave office. Road carnage and an 8-hour JKIA electricity failure are major reasons. We can’t risk even the lives of the foreigners. Resign,” his tweet read.

Also read: Anonymous Sudan suggests involvement in Kenya’s nationwide blackout