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By Special Correspondent:

When Captain Gilbert Kibe was appointed as Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General for a period of three years with effect from 23rd April 2015, the story of an incompetent manager who had mismanaged and run down two Corporations was never fully told.

Kibes’s appointment was made via a Kenya Gazette Notice no 4008 vol. CXVII- no
58 of 5th June 2015, he was described as glittering terms. The public was
misled to believe he was the best qualified to head KCAA.

a closer look at the man’s corporate history tell a completely different story.
Not only did he run down two companies into insolvency, Kibe lacks prerequisite
technical qualifications to head a strategic regulatory organization such as
the KCAA.

as we delve into the background of a man who is totally in control of Kenya’s
dwindling fortunes and increasingly risky sky we uncover a man who been
variously described as is arrogant, plagued by failure and with a historical
problem working with indigenous air operators who refuse to pay protection fee
to him.

law requires the Director General of KCAA to be a vastly experienced aviator.
Kibe’s experience in aviation can be best described as negligible.

flight hours on commercial flights is used to show the experience of pilots,
with the more flight hours a pilot has done, the more the experience.

only experience in the air is by 2-seater fixed-wing aircraft during
his time as instructor in the now collapsed Nairobi Flight Training Ltd which
he owned.

incompetence is exemplified by the collapse of Eagle Aviation, a Mombasa based
operator he co-owned and managed with Kiran Patel. The airline run into
turbulence and wound up in 2003.

insolvent firm Kibe co-owned and managed with Charles Muthama is Aero Kenya
which collapsed in 2010

it can be safely concluded that the unending problems KCAA has with local air
operators stems primarily from Kibe’s inexperience and incompetence as an

it is Kibe’s time at KCAA that has been anything but dramatic. Morale at KCAA
is said to have become disastrously low following his appointment and many
technically proficient staff had resigned to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

a well-connected Director General, Kibe has managed to render the Board of
Directors powerless and ineffective due to his perceived closeness with the
powers that be in the national government. He has become so powerful that the
Board Chair Joseph NKadayo now answers to him on board proceedings.

source at KCAA said Kibe abused his powers with wanton impunity and violated
the employment regulations at the state corporation. The Director General
reportedly employed his concubines Sheila Kemunto and Praktisha Patel and gave
them high ranking positions in the Licensing Department and Air Worthiness Inspection,
both said to be lucrative positions.

from acting as his mistresses, both Kemunto and Patel worked with Kibe at his
collapsed Nairobi Flight Training Ltd. As part of an infamous extortion cartel,
the two ladies have been very effective for harassing air operators and
blackmailing them on behalf of Kibe. The cartel is putting personal profit
before public safety.

stakeholders told us how Kibe has remained oblivious of the changing demands of
the aviation sector. Despite rapid developments in the global aviation sector,
KCAA remained the old colonial relic that was replete with obsolete

on condition of anonymity, an employee who works under said: ‘Kibe has always
been more focused on clamping down on air operators rather than improving the
environment in which they operate.  He’s not tried anything innovative or
to re-brand or do anything different.’ 

consequence of his inability to inspire positive change has been attributed to
the sorry state of the aviation industry which is a pillar of the tourism
industry employing thousands directly and submitting hundreds of millions
annually to the exchequer in taxes and levies.

the Auditor General has raised red flags on payment of millions of shillings
irregularly paid to Kibe as subsistence allowance for several months raising
serious queries on the agency’s spending and the director general’s overseas

has clocked millions of frequent flier miles and in the process made a fortune
in per diem payments over and above his own perks leading the Auditor General
to question the deals

recent crisis of air accidents and near missed, the only solution Kibe’s could
propose to government was the unlawful, unwarranted and unilateral closure of
Wilson Airport.

insiders contend that unless Kibe is removed and a new strategic plan prepared
for KCAA, the future of aviation in Kenya remains bleak due to repeated failure
in its regulatory role, and the poor work environment for KCAA staff. KCAA
cannot assure air safety due to distrust among top executives and a
dysfunctional board.

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