At 71 Muhoho reappointed KAA’s CEO

Published on 04/04/2009

By Beauttah Omanga

At 71, Mr George Muhoho was expected to be replaced this week and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority’s board had even endorsed his replacement and instructed him to hand over.

On Wednesday Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere had showed a soft spot for Muhoho but nonetheless, the board did not bet on his reappointment to probably be Kenya’s oldest public sector Chief Executive. According to a local newspaper, the board even went as far as ordering that his signature be struck off the parastatals bank accounts.

The board would still have to work with Muhoho. Mwakwere declared yesterday he had given him another year in office because despite his age, he was the best man for the job in the country. “I know Muhoho is not a young man but age does not prevent one from doing an exemplary work. I have decided to extend Muhoho’s tenure by one more year starting today” said Mwakwere.

“I cannot trust human resource bodies to point out a qualified Kenyan for me to appoint. I am professional in this field and even in the past, I had to disagree with experts’ opinion on appointments,’’ Mwakwere said.

Muhoho, a former Catholic priest, one the closest confidants of President Kibaki from his days as Democratic Party presidential candidate and leader and a brother of Kenya’s first First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, is a man on the roll and age is just but a number.

He clinched renewal at the helm of what should be a techno-savvy organisation that manages Kenya’s airports despite accusations of having juggled demands of public office and management of Kibaki’s presidential campaigns in 2007.

Muhoho, who is uncle to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, was reappointed the same week that Mwakwere terminated a Sh2.9 billion Build Operate and Transfer contract KAA had given a foreign firm with Sri Lankan links.

Lucrative contract

The award went to the firm despite lamentation the national carrier, Kenya Airways, had been sidestepped and that the advertisement was vague. In cancelling the lucrative contract, the minister conceded it had ‘errors’.

Addressing a press conference in his office yesterday, the minister dismissed as unfounded accusations levelled against Muhoho and challenged those with evidence to produce it.

He said he was surprised that the MD was being accused of wrong doings soon after he left office.

He denied ever having received any graft allegations against Muhoho that would compel him to deny him an extension of his term. “It surprises me that all manner of accusations are being made now after Muhoho left office. Let those with tangible evidence against him bring that evidence to me and I will act,” said the minister.

|   |    |   Add Comment |    Comments (16)

Today’s magazine

    Financial Journal
Safaricom’s challenge: ‘I got cash, let’s play’

At 12 years, Kenya’s largest mobile company by subscriber base, Safaricom, seems to be exhibiting all the symptoms of an adolescent — the period when people grow really fast and could sometimes, be a little raucous.