Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen on Thursday hit back at Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei after the latter criticised him for the frequent power outages at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Speaking on Thursday at Spice FM, Murkomen, who has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, argued that the backup generators used at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are unique.
“I saw someone say that a generator is something you just plug in and plug out.”
“It is very disheartening to see some people out there behaving like they know which generator we are talking about and they think you just go and switch it, they are just propagating their ignorance.”
Travellers at JKIA in Nairobi, Kenya, which was hampered by a power outage in December 2023
He insisted that one needs a high-level electrical engineer who is well-equipped to synchronise electricity connection when there’s a blackout.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, who has been at loggerheads with Murkomen, urged President William Ruto to crack the whip on Murkomen and other officials accused of relapse after the country faced the third nationwide outage in three years.
Senator Cherargei laughed off the CS’s decision to seek the DCI’s help in unravelling the mystery behind the blackouts.
“Murkomen is blaming KAA and saying there’s sabotage for DCI to investigate, I don’t know what investigation you should do to a generator that was installed and you just press the buttons for switching on and off or just set a timer?” He questioned.
Earlier, the CS had attributed the blackouts to sabotage and invited the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to launch investigations and arrest perpetrators. He also blamed the previous regime for investing poorly in key infrastructure.
“The problems we see at the airport are systemic of poor investment that we didn’t put in place for many years. Our airport has suffered immense neglect,” Murkomen alleged.
“In 2013 when we came into administration as Jubilee administration, there was fire, and a lot of concentration went to restoring the airport,” he added, citing the JKIA fire incident five years ago.
He further wondered why a Cabinet Secretary should be answerable for power blackouts at JKIA, yet different agencies are responsible for maintaining the facility.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei at Parliament Building.