KQ supply chain staff want ‘unfit’ manager fired
Kenya Airways workers are calling for the dismissal of supply chain manager Irene Lempaka, alleging that she is unfit to hold the office.

In a letter to acting chief executive Allan Kilavuka and board chairman Michael Joseph, staff in the supply chain department want Ms Lempaka sent home because she is incompetent.

The Sunday Nation was unable to get an official comment on the matter despite several attempts.

By Friday, Mr Kilavuka was yet to respond to our queries, and Ms Lempaka, who had promised to call back after a daylong engagement, did not do so.

The corporate communications team led by Dennis Kashero also did not respond to our queries.

Workers in the department say they have been facing intimidation and victimisation in their attempt to expose Ms Lempaka’s wrongdoings in the department. They say the manager has on a number of occasions attempted to sack them and replace them with new staff on unknown grounds.

“Kindly take time and visit supply chain and have talks with individuals as well as users and the stories will scare you,” read the letter dated January 14, which is also copied to human resource manager Evelyne Munyoki.

The claims against Ms Lempaka come a few days after the airline suspended its chief financial officer Hellen Mathuka.

Integrity A director of the national carrier who sought anonymity said Ms Mathuka was sent on compulsory leave in September after disagreeing on strategy with the carrier. She was, however, sneaked back a few months later, bringing into question the integrity of the airline’s management and board.

The airline made a net loss of Sh8.5 billion in the half year ended June, more than double the net loss of Sh4 billion reported in a similar period a year earlier even as sales rose to Sh58.5 billion from Sh52.1 billion, representing a 12.2 per cent increase. The loss saw the company’s negative equity widen to Sh16.1 billion from Sh2.4 billion, underlining the airline’s capital crisis.

KQ’s problems have been linked to a mix of increased competition, corruption, mismanagement and a previous debt binge that continues to weigh on its balance sheet.

The airline last reported a profit in 2012 when it closed with net earnings of Sh1.66 billion. Its worst performance was in 2016, when it booked a Sh26.2 billion loss. In 2017, it reported a Sh10.2 billion loss.