Former Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Macharia Kamau has caused a stir after claiming that landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) feels like a trip back to the stone age.
“Sometimes one arrives home from an international trip, say from Dubai, and one looks out the window of the plane at the depressing and chaotic urban sprawl and then get into the makeshift warehouse that is the terminal and you just want to weep. It’s like we are still in the Stone Age,” Macharia had remarked on landing at JKIA on X (formerly Twitter).
His comments drew the anger of Kenyans online, many of who were quick to remind him that he was a senior government official in the previous government yet he did nothing about the state of the JKIA.
“The problem with you as leaders is when you get the opportunity you never make any meaningful change in the government. You award tenders to friends and relatives who deliver shoddy work. You don’t streamline public transport and plan cities and then you complain like us citizens,” an X user who identified as Kiprotich Lang’at remarked.
The JKIA has been grabbing the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The airport has been suffering power outages and most recently embarrassingly leaking roofs.
This was not the first time that Kamau is making controversial comments. He has previously found himself in soup after claiming that Kenyan girls who go to work in the Middle East have themselves to blame for the abuse they are subjected to.
Kamau had claimed that Kenyan girls working in Saudi Arabia are abused by their Saudi employers because they are hard headed.
“Sometimes our people will not be so subservient and when they go to these countries like Saudi Arabia are very ancient. The people who suffer terrible beatings, abuse are usually people of that category,” he had said in September 2022.