, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4- The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has denied claims that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his wife were restricted from accessing the VIP lounge at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The authority says that Odinga was indeed allowed access and use of the Government VIP lounge on Monday, while Ida was given similar permission last Friday.
KAA further clarified that restrictions that were applied on the former PM and his wife involved barring them from driving their convoys to the airside.
“According to national security regulations, only convoys belonging to the President of Kenya, visiting Heads of State and the Deputy President of Kenya can access the airside at any of the airports in Kenya.”
KAA said it has three VIP lounges – the State Pavilion for the President of Kenya and visiting Heads of State, the VIP III Lounge for the Deputy President of Kenya and Retired Heads of State and the Government VIP Lounge for ambassadors and government VIPs.
“The former Prime Minister has unrestricted access to the Government VIP Lounge.”
But the Orange Democratic Movement rejected the argument instead accusing JKIA staff and the government of double standards.
The group maintained that Odinga was a former Prime Minister and deserved better treatment from the government.
Led by South Mugirango MP Manson Nyamweya, the politicians demanded to know whether former President Mwai Kibaki and his wife Lucy Kibaki were treated in a similar fashion.
“Mr Odinga was a co-principal in the previous government and therefore we want to know if the same treatment applies to the retired President and First Lady. There should be no application of double standards,” he charged.
The legislators further accused Cabinet Secretary Francis Kimemia of dictatorship claiming that he authored the letter denying Odinga access to the said VIP lounge.
Nyamweya added that Odinga’s security had been withdrawn before noting that he had in an earlier incident been kept waiting at the Mombasa Airport for over an hour before being allowed access to the VIP facilities.
“We demand to know who authorised Mr Kimemia to do the said circular. The Jubilee government and their spanner boy Mr Kimemia should know that Mr Odinga simply deserves respect,” he said.