Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary has terminated the contract of Alex Gitari as the managing director of Kenya Airports Authority following a power outage witnessed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Friday night.

Mr Murkomen made the announcement on Saturday after a meeting with the board and management to discuss last night event where the country’s major port of entry witnessed a total blackout at the terminals as standby generators failed to deploy.

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen with officials from the KAA at JKIA. Photo:(Courtesy)
Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen with officials from the KAA at JKIA. Photo:(Courtesy)

Mr Gitari has been serving his second year since he was appointed as the substantive head at KAA by then Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

The incident saw passengers stranded at the immigration and check-in desks as they were plunged into darkness.

The CS, who has appointed Henry Ogoye as the acting head, said Mr Gitari had by mutual consent agreed to end his tenure at KAA.

“The contract of Alext Gitari has the managing director of KAA has been terminated,” Mr Murkomen said during a news conference at JKIA.

The CS also terminated the contract of Eng Fred Odawo, who has been General Manager Project and Engineering Services at the facility. He is replaced by Samuel Mwochache in an acting capacity.

Mr Murkomen said the blackout did not affect incoming and outgoing flights as the standby generator servicing the runway and the control tower changed over immediately.

JKIA manager Abel Gogo has been transferred from JKIA to Mombasa with Selina Gor, airport manager at Kisumu International Airport has been moved to Nairobi in the same capacity.

The appointment of Mr Gitari as a substantive head, was not without controversies. Mr Macharia cancelled the interviews for his appointment in June 2021 after the board only presented his name for the exercise against standard procedure that requires the board to give three names.

Mr Gitari had acted for two years prior to his confirmation after the Norwegian Jonny Andersen term came to an end.