NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 29 – Kenya Airports Authority has suspended a three-year contract of Colnet Limited, a firm that provided cleaning services at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, due to COVID-19 pandemic that has negatively impacted the business environment at the airport.
This suspension comes amid public outcry over the firm’s employees who had reported to work for their night shift on Tuesday and had already started working but were kicked out and were thus stranded at the airport because of the dusk to dawn curfew.
The employees decried being ambushed while continuing with their normal duties before being forced to write down their names, their passes seized, and were forced out of work.
“We do not know what to do, we cannot do anything, I got to work until 7 pm and we were kicked out we do not where to go since the curfew is in force. Since coronavirus started, we have been struggling to work hard even when the situation was worst but now that it ends, we are being kicked out, where can we find other jobs,” a Colnet worker, identified as Patrick decried.
Millicent Omondi, also a worker added,” we have nowhere to go, we call upon interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’ i to help us, how can we provide for our kids?”
In a statement, Managing Director, Alex Gitari said the suspension was enforced after the firm failed to reduce its charges owing to the reduced scope of services as a result of the reduced number of passengers and airport operators.
“The Authority sought to engage yourselves with a view of reducing your charges to the Authority owing to the reduced scope of service primarily on the use of consumables during the pandemic season, However, you have adamantly declined to make any reduction,” he said
Gitari said the authority will not be able to meet the cost of their services, especially the use of consumables which will not be utilized during these times.
“Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and other airports have particularly been faced with a significant reduction of flights, passenger movements, and operations. The authority’s business and operations have been heavily affected and thus shall be unable to meet the cost of consumables not utilized,” part of the statement issued stated.
He, therefore noted the suspension will remain in effect until the pandemic is over and normalcy is restored at the airports.