KENYA Airport Authority yesterday sent managing director Stephen Gichuki on terminal leave.
The authority also stopped LSK Chairman Eric Mutua acting as its lawyer in a case against World Duty Free, days after Corporation Secretary Joy Ngaga resigned under unclear circumstances.
Gichuki's contract was to expire on October 23. The KAA board said his departure will pave way for the position to be filled "competitively". Chairman Mutuma Mugambi said the board has appointed Lucy Mbugua as acting managing director.
Mbugua was the general manager for marketing and business development at KAA for the last eight years. Mugambi said the move to replace Gichuki is not linked to the August 7 fire at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
He said the former managing director's terminal leave is in accordance with the State Corporations Act and Regulations. "The board has decided to follow due process in the recruitment of a new managing director. We will advertise the position for qualified and interested persons to apply over the next few days," Mugambi said during a press briefing yesterday.
Gichuki's exit comes less than two weeks after duty free shops associated with businessman Kamlesh Pattni were demolished. Mutua who has been representing KAA in the case against World Duty Free was replaced by Ahmednassir, Abdikadir and Company Advocates.
The notice of change of advocates was filed in court on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the KAA chairman said arrangements are being made to ensure that passengers are moved out of tents at JKIA within three weeks.
"The airport's parking garage will i be converted into a passengers arrival hall," he said Mugambi said Unit 2 derpartures between gates 8 and 4 will be open to Kenya Airways by today and unit 1 check-in hall will be ready for use by the other airlines within three weeks.
Mugambi said KAA expects to set up a temporary terminal in eight weeks.
"The completion of terminal 4 is being expedited to bring it into partial operation by the end of this year," he said. The chairman said the planning and construction process for the Greenfield Terminal has begun.
The terminal will transform JKIA into an African hub.