Behind the simmering scandal of JKIA takeover is another scandal led by Kenya Airways (KQ) CEO Sebastian Mikosz and Chairman Michael Joseph, who have engineered a Ksh1.8 billion loot from the ‘pride of Africa’.
In the face of loss making, KQ has been turned into an airline taken hostage by a bunch of rogue white supremacists, leading to the loss of over Ksh1.8 billion in the last 18 months since Mikosz took over.
Unlike loss making in other business entities, the money ended up in people’s pockets, something that has crippled KQ.
Mikosz alone pockets Ksh8 million every month, as compared to his predecessor Mbuvi Ngunze, who only got a salary of Ksh3.5 million per month. In just 18 months, Mikosz has pocketed Ksh135 million from the cash strapped airliner.
On the other hand, former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph earns a Ksh3 million salary a month as the board chair, ten times more than his predecessor who earned Ksh300,000 a month. In turn, he has earned Ksh54 million in the last 18 months. As if that is not enough, Joseph demanded a payment of Ksh18 million for unknown reasons, which he allegedly gave to his girlfriend.
Jan Vegt, the managing director for African Cargo pocketed Ksh72 million, Radj Sharmer (technical director) Ksh50.4 million, Ronald Luzzier (Head of Supplies – technical services) Ksh36 million and Diran Oloyada Ksh18 million.
Seven directors in the consultation and procurement department have pocketed a total of Ksh540 million in the last 18 months with other foreign directors receiving at least Ksh40 million in just one and half years of service.
Catherine Kamau, the head of marketing receives Ksh1.3 million per month despite having no papers to qualify for the position. Sources indicate that she was hired without being subjected to any interview process.
The case has been different for Kenyan junior workers at the entity, who have been mistreated and trampled upon by Mikosz and Joseph. The duo has refused to complete the pending CBAs and are now recommending massive retrenchments. In place of sacked workers, the duo recommend outsourcing of both managerial posts, which might be another avenue to have more outsiders on board.
This has not augured well with staffers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and KQ, who are now demanding for the removal of Sebastian Moksz and Michael Joseph from the helm of KQ.
“We further demand for the removal of Johny Anderson from the position of MD/CEO of KAA (Kenya Aviation Authority) together with the KAA Board chair Mr Isaac Awuondo. It is only then that workers in this industry will have the confidence that issues affecting them will be addressed,” says Moses Ndiema, Kenya Aviation Workers’ Union (KAWU) secretary general.
The Kenyan government currently holds 46.53 percent of shares at KQ while KLM holds 13 percent. Commercial banks hold 35.69 percent of shares of the loss-making airline.
Under the takeover deal dubbed ‘Project Simba’, Mikosz drafted a Privately Initiated Investment Proposal (PIIP), under the skewed argument that for KQ to survive, it has to operate under a comprehensive National Aviation Policy.
The deal was supposed to be kept a secret, but under the hawk-eyed media it was exposed, leading to the delayed takeover that is being pushed by top politicians.
Mikosz’s aim of pushing for the takeover was to salvage his career and cover-up the ongoing graft and embezzlement of funds after failing to turn around the airliner from loss making.
While at Lot Airlines in Poland between 2009 and 2014, Mikosz failed to make any profits, but instead made losses amounting to over Ksh40 billion that led to his unceremonious exit in 2015.
During his appointment to KQ, Mikosz lied to Kenyans that he had turned around loss making for Lot Airlines in 2014. However, it emerged that he used the compensation for the Boeing and treated it as profits.
In 2015, Lot lost USD70 million (Ksh7 billion). This was unforgivable by the Polish government, which owns the Lot Airlines, hence he was forced to resign the same year to save his face.The airline did not even allow him to serve his notice, as he was pushed out.
At the firm, he was accused of being rude, arrogant and extravagant in using company resources, forcing the company to pay for unnecessary expenditures.
“I wonder if the board of Kenya Airways is all blind in picking a fat polish pig as their CEO. At the end, the people in Kenya would have to pay for such huge mistake made by a small group of people. The sooner Kenya Airways sends Sebastian Mikosz and his dream team the better,” says a source in KQ, who knows Mikosz well.