Saitoti, Ojodeh kin to join crash probe
Posted Wednesday, June 13 2012 at 22:30
The families of two ministers and a police officer who died in Sunday’s helicopter crash have said they want to be represented in the team formed to investigate the cause of the accident in Ngong Forest.
The relatives of Internal Security minister George Saitoti, his assistant minister Orwa Ojodeh and his bodyguard Joshua Tonkei have made the request to have representatives at the inquiry.
Three other police officers — Pilots Nancy Gituanja and Luke Oyugi, and bodyguard Thomas Murimi, died in the crash. (SEE IN PICTURES: Ngong helicopter crash)
Also seeking to join the investigations team is the Kenya Airline Pilots Association, which termed their omission in the Commission of Inquiry an oversight on the part of Transport Minister Amos Kimunya.
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who chairs the funeral committee, had said the families of the six victims who wished to have legal representation at the public inquiry would be allowed to do so.
Speaking when he visited the homes of the late Inspector Tonkei and late Sergeant Murimi in Highridge estate Parklands on Tuesday, Mr Musyoka said: “You should feel free to be represented at the inquiry, nothing will be hidden from the public.”
Meanwhile, the five-member team investigating the cause of the helicopter crash will have powers to summon witnesses and receive evidence from the public.
The inquiry, chaired by Appeal Court Judge Kalpana Rawal has powers to summon the manufacturers of the helicopter and as senior officers at the police air wing to help unravel the mystery behind the crash.
The families spoke as it was revealed that the helicopter was not insured. Insurance cover for the fleet and crew of the Kenya Police Air Wing was discontinued in 2004 and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority granted the Air Wing authority to operate without insurance cover.
Kenya Police Air Wing commandant Rodgers Mbithi said the insurance plan was under way, adding that the crew were covered under the civil servants scheme.
A taskforce had proposed that Sh15 million, out of Sh16 billion they recommended to be set aside for the improvement of the police air wing in the next four years, be used to insure all its pilots and engineers but the funds were never released.