MPs call for 'thorough' probe into chopper crash
Posted Tuesday, June 12 2012 at 15:47
Eldoret North MP William Ruto Tuesday led more than 20 Rift Valley legislators in urging a 'thorough investigation' following the tragic deaths of Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his deputy Orwa Ojode.
Mr Ruto, who spoke on behalf of a delegation that condoled with the families of the two leaders, called on the government to institute a public inquiry into the death of the six Kenyans, noting that a lot of questions went unanswered.
“Let an open, thorough and extensive investigation on the cause of the helicopter crash led by professional and credible persons in the aviation sector be established,” Mr Ruto told mourners in Prof Saitoti’s home in Lavington, Nairobi.
The legislators also visited the family of bodyguard Joshua Tonkei in Nairobi.
He further asked Transport minister Amos Kimunya to invite members of the public with any information that could lead to unravelling exactly what happened to come forward.
His message to the families of Mr Ojode and Mr Tonkei was laced with the same call for thorough investigations into the crash, adding that the public enquiry should involve the families of the victims to find answers to pending questions.
Already, Court of Appeal Judge Kalpana Rawal has been appointed to head the team that will investigate the accident.
Other members of the team include former Kenya Airforce commander, Maj Gen Harold Tangai, the Chief Investigator of Aircraft Accidents Clatus Macowenga and State counsel Charles Mutinda and Faith Irari.
But Mr Ruto’s delegation said a public commission needed to be set up.
“Let this not become another government secret investigation but let it be open and thorough to explain to everyone exactly what happened,” Mr Ruto said.
He described the late Saitoti as a humble man and a team player.
"He had two significant attributes, he refused to be branded to any ethnic community and he was patient. He endured a lot in his political life.”
Mr Ruto was accompanied by the minister for Information Samuel Poghisio, assistant minister Linah Chebii and a host of MPs from the Rift Valley.
They also consoled the wife and mother of Mr Ojode where they said Mr Ojode was a leader who cut across the political divide.
“He was among few of the assistant ministers who carried out the full responsibilities of a minister."
Mr Ruto commended the passion and diligence that Mr Ojode executed in his work, stating that the loss of Prof Saitoti and Mr Ojode was of equal measure.
At the same time, the Party of National Unity organising secretary Maina Kamanda said the party had cancelled a planned tour of the United Kingdom and United States that was meant to woo voters in the Diaspora.
The tour was to start next week on Tuesday where Prof Saitoti was scheduled to meet Kenyans living in London before proceeding to various states in America early in July.