Reality hits home as KQ announces lay off of 80 employees

July 8, 2016
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KQ announced that it would be letting go of 80 employees to start with/FILE
KQ announced that it would be letting go of 80 employees to start with/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 8 – National Carrier Kenya Airways  announced that it would lay off 80 of its employees in the first phase of a staff rationalisation exercise starting Friday.

The firm’s Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze said the decision was part of its turnaround program that includes accurate right sizing of its employees.

The airline issued a notice to right size through staff redundancies and redeployment on March 31, 2016 and an update was issued to staff on May 4, 2016 following, “intense,” consultations with all parties involved.

“During this period we have stress-tested the accuracy of our right-sizing estimates in order to ensure that we have  identified all possible ways to retain staff as well as securing the airlines long term operational efficiency,” Ngunze said in a statment.

The turnaround programme dubbed “Operation Pride” is set to improve profitability, revisit the operating model and network, and seek a long term sustainable financial structure for business.

“The decision communicated above is not made lightly, and I want to thank all employees for their tremendous resilience and commitment in serving our guests in challenging times for the company. I also want to thank our people affected in this process for their commitment and hard work and wish them every success in their future endeavors,” Mbuvi stressed.

Last month transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the government was working closely with the KQ Board to evaluate the entire management and have the best bosses running it.

Some of the heads at the national airline that have left include the Human Resource Director Alban Mwendar who resigned in April this year and Alex Mbugua, a long serving Finance Director who sacked in January 2016.

Others include Director Corporate Quality, Safety, Security and Environment Alex Avedi and Captain Paul Mwangi who was dropped as Director for Flight Operations but remains a Kenya Airways pilot.

In May the firm said it would suspend and prosecute any and all staff found culpable of mismanagement following a preliminary forensic audit report by Deloitte Consulting.

Based on the preliminary results of the forensic investigation that was handed over to the airline’s board, KQ identified system and internal control weaknesses and continues to implement far-reaching remedial actions.

“These actions include the suspension of staff members in order to facilitate the successful completion of the forensic investigations. The company is also evaluating the findings with a view to further action against culpable staff, including potential criminal prosecution and recovery proceedings, as appropriate,” the firm said in a statement.

Further investigations are continuing and additional actions will be taken as a result.

The objective of the forensic investigation is to review the operations, systems and internal controls of the airline over the last five years.

This is in a bid to identify the sources and magnitude of revenue losses and cash flow leakages, evaluating value for money in capital and other expenditures, and reviewing related areas of governance weakness.

KQ missed their revenue target by Sh50 billion in the year ended March 2015 posting a Sh25.7 billion loss for 2014/15.

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