Only truth will get KAA out of stowaway mess

KAA appears to be admitting stranger accessed restricted airport area.

In Summary

• Could KAA position be a strategy adopted for fear JKIA status, US flights could be jeopardised?

• That Kenya has not identified stowaway six months later is a new low.

JKIA arrivals and departure terminal.
JKIA arrivals and departure terminal.
Image: FILE

The controversy following a Sky News expose about a man who fell from a Kenya Airways plane in London is mind-boggling. Contradictory statements by the supposed father of the stowaway and denials by government agencies don't make any sense.

Amidst the confusion, one thing is clear: the fiasco is a stinging indictment of the Kenyan government. The Kenya Airports Authority has said the stowaway identified as Paul Manyasi was not a cleaner at the JKIA, as Sky News reported.

That denial raises more questions than answers. That a stranger could easily bypass airport security, enter the tarmac and travel to Britain without detection point to dangerous security lapses.


After the launch of direct flights to the US, security checks were stringent at JKIA, the biggest airport in East and Central Africa.

In fact, elaborate security and surveillance were responsible for the airport getting coveted Category 1 status in 2017.

That for six months the Kenyan government and its security apparatus have not identified the stowaway is a new low. Could it be a strategy adopted out of fear JKIA's status could be downgraded?

Truth is the cornerstone of modern crisis communications that government bureaucrats must learn. Simply state the facts and apologise if necessary.


Quote of the Day: “A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.”

Patrick Jake O’Rourke

The American political satirist and journalist was born on November 14, 1947