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New fuel scandal hits Police Airwing



A weekly allocation of Sh1.2 million has been channelled to the Police Airwing for operations to flush out terrorists in Boni Forest, Lamu, months after the aircraft were grounded for technical reasons.

Taxpayers have therefore paid millions to keep grounded choppers “in the air”.

Pilots of the Kenya Police Air-wing used to make regular trips a week to Boni but for months now, the Mi-17 helicopters used for aerial support to troops have been grounded, yet the money continues to be released for fuel and supplies.

And following a tip-off by a whistle blower, both the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) are now investigating what is being treated as embezzlement of funds.

The last Mi-17 helicopter was grounded last week after the tail rotor shaft was spoilt.

Refurbished machines

For instance, between January 11 and 24, only one aircraft, Augusta Westland AW119 5Y-NPW, was operational and no aircraft or crews went to Boni.

However, the cash for the Boni operation was released used and later purported to have been accounted for.

One of the issues under investigations is whether Chief Inspector Richard Mutua, who in the nominal roll, is listed as the head of pilots draws engineer’s allowance.

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This is not the first time the Police Airwing is on the spotlight. For years, it has been riddled with procurement issues and mismanagement.

At no one time the Air-wing operated with a full fleet with most of its aircraft both helicopters and Fixed-wing grounded for mechanical issues.

And now the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security has also opened a probe on the purchase of the aircraft by the department.

Of particular interest to the committee are five aircraft purchased last year, which the Interior and Coordination of National Security ministry indicated were new from the United States and Italy but were actually refurbished machines from Ukraine.

No licences

The five Mi-17 aircraft were purchased at Sh1.4 billion each, which means that Sh7 billion was spent to buy what could turn out to have been second-hand aircraft at the price of new one.

The aircraft, according to a well-placed source, cannot fly as they have not undergone the mandatory annual overhaul of the engines, which itself could cost hundreds of millions.

Five other choppers bought earlier have been grounded due to same mechanical problems. The Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters had their engines repaired last year, but after operating for just a month, the engines failed and are yet to be repaired.

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The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has  subsequently since revoked the licences of choppers owned by police, as they do not have insurance covers.

The insurance cover for the fleet of 10 choppers is about Sh25 million. Some of the air-wing aircraft are also flown by officers without valid licences in the sense that for KCAA to licence them, a fee is paid and they fly at least six hours for the licences to be converted.

Last week, the House National Security Committee directed the new Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to reject the aircraft in question.

“We have advised the new IG not to accept the aircrafts until after the questions raised over their procurement are addressed,” said committee chairman and Kiamba MP Paul Koinange.

Koinange told People Daily during an interview that documents availed to the committee showed that the aircraft were bought from August,a Westland Company in Italy and the Bell 206 Longranger in the United States.

According to a source who is conversant with the aviation industry, the MI-17 are expensive to maintain unlike Bell 206 and the Augusta AW-139.

Secretive procurement

The committee has also expressed concern over why the ministry went ahead and procured the helicopters for the National Police Service without approval from Parliament.

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Koinange said the committee would soon be opening an inquiry on the operations at the Police Air-wing to establish what has been ailing the department.

The committee will also be seeking to have the law amended to compel procurement by the Department of Interior be open to competitive bidding.

“The way things are done in the ministry should also change. Procurement is so secretive hence opening room for cartels to penetrate,” said Koinange.

The committee, he said, also wants to establish whether the Air-wing department management is the problem to all the issues bedeviling it.

“It is the feeling of the committee that the police service do away with the Airwing department since it is not serving Kenyans despite billion of shillings being pumped in,” said Koinange.

When the committee visited the Airwing last year, the department director Rogers Mbithi told the team that the helicopters had been grounded due to lack of spare parts.

It also emerged that the Air-wing was sourcing expertise from the Kenya Wildlife Service for repairs because police have not acquired the Approved Maintenance Organisation status from KCAA to service them.

source:Media Max

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Sofapaka striker retires at just 32



Sofapaka FC striker Ronald Okoth has parted ways with the club and effectively retired from the game at just the age of 32.

“I would like to take this opportunity to announce that we have mutually parted ways with Sofapaka FC at the expiry of my contract and also, announce my official retirement from professional football,” a statement posted on his official social media accounts reads partly.

“I want to sincerely thank the entire Sofapaka Football Club family from the President Elly Kalekwa, the whole executive board, the Head Coach John Baraza and his entire able technical bench, backroom staff together with all my fellow teammates for the amazing time we shared as a family and not just as a football club. Playing for this great club with a professional management setting and big ambitions has been without a doubt one of my proudest achievements.”

Okoth now shifts focus to talent management and placement under his RO Sports label.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football as I embark upon a new an exciting chapter in my life. As the founder and CEO of RO Sports and RO Sports Soccer Academy – also as an Information Manager having graduated from Kenya Methodist University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Science degree, other exciting and ambitious challenges wait ahead,” the statement continues.

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“At 32 years of age and with other things on the side going on, I have felt that indeed this is the right moment to call off my career on a high after 13 good years of actively chasing a career in football both in the lower leagues and at the top level locally. It’s a new chapter for me filled with immense pride, emotions but most of all excitement for the future,” it adds.

In the 13 years, Ronald Okoth has played for Siaya Rangers, Salem Sportif, Jericho AllStars, Congo United, KEMU FC, Gor Mahia, Mahakama FC, Nairobi Stima, Western Stima, Mathare United, KCB FC and Sofapaka.


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CS Balala revokes blogger from Tourism board over statement on Nairobi National Park



Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has revoked Pauline Njoroge’s appointment as a member of the Tourism Regulatory Authority board with immediate effect.

In a statement on Saturday, CS Balala said she had been replaced with Standard Group journalist Najma Ismail.

He explained that the ministry had just learned of her past remarks about the Nairobi National Park and could not associate itself with her.

For Ms Njoroge, the appointment was a case of so-near-yet-so-far as it was cancelled 24 hours after gazettement.

In the old, undated post that resurfaced on social media, Ms Njoroge called for the land the park sits on to be put to “better and more profitable use”.


The remark returned to haunt her, proving once again that the internet never forgets.

“… we have just seen what she tweeted in the past, that Nairobi National Park was useless. We do not want to be associated with such people and such thinking,” CS Balala said.

“The integrity of the park is very important and the government is committed to saving it and any other protected area which is the habitat for our national heritage – wildlife.”

CS Balala regretted that the ministry did not know about Ms Njoroge’s view, as it did not come during her background check, and thanked members of the public who used social media to highlight the issue.

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Ms Njoroge is a Digital Media Strategist and Communication Officer at the NEPAD/APRM Kenya Secretariat under the State Department for Planning.

In her post, she questioned the sense in sustaining the park given that Nairobi is congested.

Below is a screengrab of what she wrote.



As soon as the Kenya Gazette with numerous parastatal appointments was published on Friday, Kenyans took to social media to highlight Ms Njoroge’s post.

She and many others landed three-year appointment to plum parastatal board positions.

Among them were Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat, former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo, former assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria, former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka’s son Kevin Muasy and former Nairobi Speaker Alex ole Magelo.

On Saturday, some members of the public opposed Ms Njoroge’s appointment while others opposed its revocation.

Via Twitter, one ‘Lord Abraham Mutai’ said, “This is just sad. Denying Pauline Njoroge a chance to serve Kenyans based on what she said a few months ago is unacceptable. People have opinions on diverse issues and people should be allowed to change their minds. This is just making decisions based on emotions.”

Joyline Chebet said it would be ironical to appoint to the board someone who does not believe in tourism.

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16 die as plane crashes moments before take off




A plane carrying 190 people skidded off a runway and crashed, breaking into two pieces after landing at Calicut airport in the southern state of Kerala in India.

The Boeing 737, en route from Dubai, was reportedly repatriating Indians who were stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city following the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to reports by BBC, at least 16 people were confirmed dead by aviation officials as of Friday, August 7, night, when the crash occurred.

Rescue operation and evacuation mission began in earnest and latest reports indicate the process was completed by midnight and survivors were taken to hospitals in Calicut and Malappuram in India.

Tens of passengers of sustained injuries with aviation officials confirming 15 of them were in critical condition. Air India Express said the two pilots were among those who died.

The ill-fated aircraft crashed on its second attempt to land at the airport after the first attempt was aborted by the pilots due to heavy monsoon-season rainfall lashing Kerala.

“The aircraft overshot the runway in rainy conditions”, then plunged down a 35ft (10.6m) slope, before breaking in two,” said India’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri.

Indian President Narendra Modi said he was pained by the devastating news of the crash and condoled with families of those who lost their loved ones.

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Modi also wished a quicked recovery to the injured.

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