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Transport CS Murkomen blames Uhuru, Ruto for JKIA leaking roofs

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen blamed the former Jubilee government that was headed by former president Uhuru Kenyatta and his then deputy, William Ruto (now President of the Kenya Kwanza government) for the embarrassing leaking roof at the recently renovated international terminals 1C and 1E at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Speaking while in Diani on November 14, 2023, CS Murkomen claimed the previous regime handled projects in which substandard works were done; but that contractors will return to the site to fix the mess.

“When we got into the office, we found that the projects in the previous regime were substandard. When the renovation was done on Terminal 1C and 1E, it was in a hurry and temporary because there needed to be set up an in-field project which was costly. But we have spoken to the contractors to redo the job. We can’t continue to use the airport as it is. That is why we have a feasibility study ready and the President has said a new terminal will be delivered in less than three years with private contractors,” said CS Murkomen.

His statement came after a video went viral of flooded floors at the international departure terminals, right where passengers line up to check in before traveling abroad. The roof was falling apart and stuff had placed baggage check containers on the floor to try and collect the water but it was an exercise in futility. CS Murkomen also claimed the leaking roofs were as a result of burst water pipes running in the ceiling in the terminal.

Kenya is currently experiencing intermittent heavy rainfall influenced by the El-Nino phenomenon that originates from the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator. Several locations in Kenya have been experiencing floods including Turkana and Mombasa Counties. Roads remain unpassable and communities are forced to relocate to higher grounds for safety.

This is the second time JKIA has faced international humiliation under CS Murkomen’s reign. The previous time was when there was a blackout in the country and all lights went off at the largest airport in East and Central Africa- JKIA- leaving airport operations in disarray. There were no backup generators but CS Murkomen also promised to have new generators installed.

JKIA has also been making news as Kenya Revenue Authority officials continue to be accused of harassing passengers to pay hefty fines on goods purchased abroad if they exceed a certain amount. There are now calls for KRA to work on how they handle passengers and increase awareness on what duty passengers are expected to pay instead of ambushing and mishandling passengers- local and international- at the airport before they enter the country.

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