Good News for Kenya Airways as Detained Employees Finally Released and Flights Return to Kinshasa

Kenya Airways

Lydiah Mbotela, who was one of the two Kenya Airways staff members held by the Congolese military intelligence unit, has been freed.

Foreign Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei announced that the diplomatic efforts by the Kenyan Mission in DRC paid off.

“Deeply grateful to inform that Lydia Mbotela, KQ Manager in DRC, has just been released by the authorities in Kinshasa. I commend the team at our Mission: our Military Attaché, the FRO and the Charge d’affaires, for this incredible work of negotiating our compatriot’s release.” Mr. Songei posted on X.

KQ resumes flights

Meanwhile, KQ CEO, Allan Kilavuka has also confirmed the release, in a statement to the media, the airline operator said the two were released unconditionally and thanked the government for the sustained efforts to secure their release.

“We wish to thank all those who worked tirelessly for the release of our innocent colleagues. Special thanks to KQ colleagues who have been on the ground in Kinshasa and those in Nairobi working to secure their release. We would also like to thank the Government of Kenya, led by the Prime Cabinet Secretary, His Excellency Musalia Mudavadi, and the Kenyan embassy in Kinshasa.” The statement reads.

The operator maintains the innocence of their employees even in the face of grace accusations that saw them detained since April 19.

“We want to reiterate that our employees are innocent and were only carrying out their duties in strict adherence to the laid-out procedures. We stand by their innocence and will continue to support them.”

Mr. Kilavuka has also announced the resumption of flights to DRC following the deal, “with the necessary ground support in place, we are pleased to announce that Kenya Airways will resume flights to Kinshasa on 8 May 2024. We look forward to serving our valued customers once again.” He stated.

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