The suspended Kenya Airways(KQ) staff are not going without a fight as the airline has been dragged to court by its suspended former senior employees; Henry Owino Obonyo, former manager technical materials and services procurement, and Alloice Odhiambo Lumutu, former senior licensed aircraft engineer, following alleged preliminary findings on a forensic probe into the operations of the company.
The airline said the decision, was taken after the probe unearthed system and internal control weaknesses in the company that led to a revenue loss of Sh25.7 billion for the full year period which ended in March 2015 and the suspension is to facilitate the completion of forensic investigation. But to the defence, Mr Owino and Mr Odhiambo say “It is either there was never such a forensic report after all or if there was, it never disclosed any information that could warrant our termination”.
The defendants assert that, there is a possibility they are targeted out of malice and discrimination, if not action against more members of staff “occupying influential offices of decision making” would have been recommended if such forensic report existed.
The forensic audit commissioned in February is being conducted by consulting firm, Deloitte and according to Business Daily, a 1,000 page audit report was realized after Deloitte investigated and interrogated several KQ units including ticketing, procurement, aircraft purchase and maintenance, the airline’s handling of the repatriation of offshore blocked funds as well as foreign exchange accounts.
Mr. Henry and Mr. Alloice are seeking to be reinstated to their former positions or compensated saying, the allegations warranting their termination infringed on their constitutional right owing to the dismal of their appeals by the Kenya Airways as having no merit and upheld the decision to terminate the services.
Though the Board of Kenya Airways earlier released some of the preliminary findings made by its forensic auditors pending when the full report is fully analysed. The two claimants argue that the national carrier and its senior management have refused to provide the forensic report which was the basis of the decision to suspend and later terminate them.
KQ’s management cannot continue doing things the same way and expect positive change the stated Dr Chris Kirubi, a shareholder in KQ “We even need to review who the people are sitting in that board. What is their exact contribution to reviving the airline? I think it’s a matter of conscience where people need to come clean and say ‘ I am a baggage in this journey and I am adding no value.’ So, if you have a chairman who has no direction he needs to step aside. If you have a board member who has no interest in the airlines except free tickets he also needs to step aside,”.
Following the on-going investigation, two directors at the airline, Director Corporate Quality, Safety, Security and Environment Alex Avedi and the Director, Flights Operations, Captain Paul Mwangi opted to leave.