DP Gachagua blames fake engineers for leaking JKIA roof

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen yesterday formed a committee to investigate the status of airport infrastructure following the embarrassing mess of leaking roof at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The move follows Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s warning shot to shoddy engineers involved in the poor workmanship that resulted in the JKIA mess that those culpable must be held accountable.

Speaking at a press conference at JKIA, Murkomen named an 11-member committee that will be tasked with “investigating the status of our airports and in particular JKIA, Wilson and Moi International Airport, Mombasa.”

Committee will be expected to submit an interim report within the next 14 days and the final report within 28 days.

The committee will be chaired by Kenya Airport Authority Director Walter Ogolla and will be composed of among others KAA Directors George Ngugi and Neep Iitasayon.

They will be tasked with assessing the state of infrastructure facilities, state of electro-mechanical facilities, reviewing the works undertaken by contractors in the last two years and identifying immediate remedial measures to be undertaken.

Earlier yesterday, Gachagua had called out rogue engineers, architects and Quantity surveyors who collude with contractors to compromise quality and standards at the expense of taxpayers money and said there is need for thorough re-evaluation of engineering and other professional practices.

Addressing the 30th Edition of the Institute of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) Convention in Mombasa, the DP noted that the leaking roofs should sound the alarm to the engineering profession. This he said comes even after a recent renovation that cost a whooping Sh963 million

“JKIA was done at a massive cost, but today it’s a shame to the profession of engineers and architects. Public resources were expended, but when you go there you feel sorry. But engineers, Quantity surveyors and architects certified the project and on the basis of that certification, payments were made. And that is why I agree we may want to look at the law where professionals are held accountable for lapses, and probably they become culpable criminally,” Gachagua stated.

While acknowledging that a majority of engineers in the country are “very professional” and they do “a very good job”, he said there is still a small percentage of individuals in the profession who are unprofessional and rogue.

Murkomen on his part said the country needs to invest more on training and capacity building for engineers.