In Summary
  • The Nation has independently received information that the aircraft in question had flown relatives of the Airwing commandant and an unidentified businessman. “We do not allow unauthorised persons to use our aircraft. In case that happened, action will be taken,” the IG said.
  • On the Garissa incident, the Nation established that the police Cessna 208B aircraft, registration number 5YPOL, had left Wilson Airport on April 2 at around 7.30am and arrived in Mombasa at around 9.30am.
  • According to sources, turf wars and the opaque manner in which the unit is run has hurt its operations. Investigations reveal that the ongoing wars revolve around procurement of aircraft parts, maintenance and the training of pilots.
  • Another investigation is already under way, looking into all aspects of the Garissa terrorist attack that officially claimed 148 lives, all but six of them students.

The Inspector-General of Police has received a brief confirming that a Kenya Police Airwing plane was not immediately available to fly the GSU Recce Company on the morning of the Garissa University College terrorist attack because it was flying a small group of civilians from Mombasa.

The police boss had demanded an explanation in the wake of media reports on Saturday that the aeroplane had flown on an unauthorised lease to Mombasa.

Contacted by the Nation on Sunday, the IG, Mr Joseph Boinnet, said the matter had been brought to his attention and preliminary investigations showed that the crew “were on an instruction flight”.

He said that he had ordered an inquiry on the flight.

Another investigation is already under way, looking into all aspects of the Garissa terrorist attack that officially claimed 148 lives, all but six of them students.

The inquiry involves a wide range of issues and the aircraft situation was just one of them, Mr Boinnet said. He clarified that what he had demanded immediately was an explanation following press reports on the aircraft, not an investigation.

The Nation has independently received information that the aircraft in question had flown relatives of the Airwing commandant and an unidentified businessman.

“We do not allow unauthorised persons to use our aircraft. In case that happened, action will be taken,” the IG said.

PROBE CHOPPER BLADES PURCHASE

The revelation came just a day ahead of an investigation expected to be launched Monday into the controversial purchase of helicopter rotor blades bought at what is believed to be an inflated cost of Sh42 million.

The blades were delivered to the Airwing headquarters at Wilson Airport on Friday at 1am in a manner that raised questions because of suspect documentation.

On the Garissa incident, the Nation established that the police Cessna 208B aircraft, registration number 5YPOL, had left Wilson Airport on April 2 at around 7.30am and arrived in Mombasa at around 9.30am.

The crew acting Senior Superintendent James Kabo and an Inspector Mutai had been instructed by the Kenya Police Air Wing commandant, Mr Rogers Mbithi, to fly to Mombasa to pick up his daughter-in-law and her child.

Mr Boinnet had been immediately briefed about the unofficial flight, but it was not until Saturday that he directed that his office be furnished with a full report regarding the movement of the aircraft.

Consequently, a brief was prepared in which Mr Mbithi said that the woman was his daughter-in-law but did not disclose who the businessman was.

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