Naikuni: The man who brought KQ to its knees is honored with plum job

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Former Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni, who is behind most of the KQ woes during his tenure, has been appointed as Tata Chemicals’ Director in South Africa.

Naikuni, who currently serves as the technical advisor to Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd. CEO will now serve the interests of the global multinational in Durban.

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“I am ready to take up my new assignments as directed at the multinational company. We are going to be more focused on improving the products from Kenya and the United States of America, and to improve our products the world over,” Naikuni has told The Star on Sunday.

“This is my new challenge and I am up to the task as I became part of the multinational family’s directors.”

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The Mumbai-headquartered global company manufacturers soda ash, sodium bicarbonate and several other chemicals for industrial use.

It has subsidiaries in several countries in Europe, Africa, and America.

Naikuni and other KQ top managers have been on the spot over the near collapse of the airline, which recorded a Sh26 billion loss in 2015.

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Mr Naikuni and others, who sat on the board when decisions were being made on the future of Kenya Airways, have been on the spot over investment choices seen as responsible for the record loss.

In 2015, when he appeared before a select committee of the Senate to defended his tenure at the struggling national carrier, Naikuni instead blamed terrorism for KQ’s record Sh 25.7 billion loss.

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Naikuni told the Senators that persistent terror attacks in the country by the Somalia based Al-Shabaab led to a significant drop of passengers compared to what the airline’s management had predicted.

According to Naikuni, this in turn affected the airline’s expansion plans that had seen them invest in more aeroplanes under the Mawingu project.

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