Court blocks new boss from taking over KCAA

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 02:01 | By

The High Court in Nakuru has stopped the appointment of Emile Arao (pictured) as the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General.

Justice David Nderitu issued the temporary order pending the hearing of a suit filed by a lobby group, Sheria Mtaani, challenging the appointment.

“Consequently, the interested party (Arao) is hereby injuncted from assuming office of the Director General of the first respondent (KCAA),” ruled the judge. Nderitu directed the petition be served upon KCAA and Arao for inter partes hearing on March 31.

Arao was set to take over from Gilbert Kibe, who had served as KCAA boss for two terms. Kibe took over from Col Hilary Kioko in April 2015.

Prior to his appointment, Arao was the deputy executive director (Technical) at the East African Community’s Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency.

A report by the Arusha-based East Africa Legislative Assembly had indicted Arao of poor management and possible embezzlement of public funds at his previous workstation.

Six people applied for the job when it was advertised by the Transport ministry. Those shortlisted for interviews included Arao, Lucas Njeru (pilot at Kenya Airways), Mugambi GK M’Nchebere (director, KCAA’s East African School of Aviation), Abel Gogo (Kenya Airports Authority manager in charge of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport), Joseph Chebungei, (KCAA Director, Corporate Services), and Joseph Okumu (KAA manager in charge of Wilson Airport).

After the interviews, Arao, Chebungei and Mugambi’s names were forwarded by the Board of Directors to the Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia for appointment as per the Civil Aviation Act. Arao, who the CS described as “a highly talented and accomplished aviation professional” has been battling allegations of incompetence and misuse of finances at CASSOA.

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