Just Like CS Murkomen, DP Gachagua Blames Uhuru Gov’t For JKIA Mess

Written by on 15 November 2023

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has attributed the infrastructural challenges at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to subpar workmanship by contractors and engineers under former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

Defending Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen’s assertion that rushed renovations during Uhuru’s tenure compromised standards, Gachagua criticized those opposing Murkomen, stating they are averse to the truth.

“I have seen some people castigating him (Murkomen) on what he said about what happened at JKIA, but that is the truth,” Gachagua stated.

“People in this country are allergic to the truth. And quite a number have a problem with me, but there is nothing they can do because the truth is the truth,” he added. 

While inaugurating the 30th Engineers of Kenya Convention in Mombasa on Wednesday, the DP also expressed concern about the rising number of unqualified individuals posing as engineers in the country. 

He lamented the current state of JKIA,  saying it brings shame to the engineering and architecture professions. 

”JKIA was done at a massive cost but today, it is a shame to the profession of engineers and architects. Public resources were expended, and when you go there, you feel sorry, yet engineers and architects certified, and on the basis of that certification, payments were made,” he said.

The comments follow a viral video revealing leakage at JKIA, days after a nationwide blackout impacted the airport. 

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen while inspecting Diani Airport on Tuesday, November 14,  blamed the previous government for hastily executed renovations, asserting that accountability lies with the engineers and contractors overseeing the flawed work.

“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 E, 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,” Murkomen said. 

In his address to engineers on Wednesday, Gachagua further advocated for increased scrutiny by relevant institutions and the engineering board, urging a stringent self-assessment mechanism to uphold ethical standards, and holding to account professionals responsible for certifying substandard work.

“Professionals should be held accountable for lapses and for misleading the taxpayer by certifying shoddy jobs and probably becoming criminally comfortable. That would help this country,” he stated.

The Second in Command stressed the importance of self-regulation to prevent external interventions and the condemnation of the entire engineering field due to the actions of a few.

In addition, he insisted on weeding out non-serious individuals from the engineering profession to safeguard its integrity.

“We have roads that develop potholes before completion, certified by engineers and paid for,” Gachagua added.

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