KQ Chairman Michael Joseph Rubbished DP Rigathi Gchagua’s ‘State Capture’ Narrative

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has now trained his guns on the national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) in his continuing “state capture” narrative, but his latest sentiments seem to have rattled KQ’s chairman Michael Joseph.

In his latest attempt to pinpoint what he claims is ailing the country’s economy, the deputy president said that the reason behind KQ’s series of loss-making was terrible contracts that they had allegedly entered into to benefit a few individuals in what he termed as State capture.

The DP noted, “We have had discussions with Kenya Airways and they have the highest fares on the continent and their planes are always full but they make losses. We are trying to deal with that State Capture so that we can bring down the cost of the operations of the airline so that they can make profits.”

His sentiments have surely rubbed KQ chairman Michael Joseph the wrong way, who has rubbished the DP’s claims noting that the contracts by the airline are purely commercial business arrangements that seek to benefit the airline. Michael Joseph outlined in his statement the number of planes operated by KQ under two different operational models, they include Long-term Leases with an option to purchase the aircraft at the end of the agreement and Operating Leases, where the lessor and lessee agree on regular payments over a set period.

Michael Joseph becomes the third senior person to openly differ with DP Gachagua following similar responses by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, and barely a few days ago, the Central Bank.

It is not clear if the Deputy President’s recent utterances which many have termed reckless represent the government’s position, or are simply his pronouncements. Either way, communication experts have now advised that the Deputy President should get a serious communication person to handle his media appearances to avoid further instances that can only be described as gaffes.

By Alvine Opicho

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