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New fuel scandal hits Police Airwing

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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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‘I have no access to you,’ Frankie pens emotional letter to son, says he’s barred from seeing his kids

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Fitness coach Frankie Kiarie has penned a touching letter to his firstborn son Lexi with Maureen Waititu.

The father of two showered his son with love and narrating how he brought so much joy to his life.

To My Son,

When you came into this world, you brought a love so pure I had never before experienced. When you spoke your first word, walked your first steps, I became your biggest fan. With every milestone you reached, I reveled in joy. You taught me the meaning of love — true, unconditional love.

As you continue to grow, you will live your own life. You will have times of happiness and times of disappointment. You will fall in love, and you will have your heart broken. Life has its ups and downs and is not always fair, but I know your strength and resilience will see you through.

May you always know your worth and how incredibly precious you are! As your Papa, it is my privilege to impart these important truths to you.

Frankie went ahead to reveal that he hasn’t seen his kids for a while now because he has no access to them.

‘Since I have no access to you, I’ll pass these words on and hope they find you. Be true to yourself always. Live your own dreams. Don’t take life so seriously. And, last but certainly not least, Know that I love you and will always be there for you. No matter what, I’ve got your back. You are my son and always will be. Happy Birthday Lexi,’ he wrote.

A few weeks ago, Mpasho.co.ke reached out to Maureen Waititu to respond to claims that she had barred Frankie from seeing their kids she denied.

‘I HAVE NOT BARRED HIM [FRANKIE] FROM SEEING HIS KIDS.  MY LAWYER CONTACTED HIM THROUGH A LETTER FOR A ROUND TABLE MEDIATION TO COME UP WITH A STRUCTURE AND ORDER ON HOW TO RAISE THE KIDS BUT HE MADE IT VERY CLEAR HE HAS NO OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO THAT.’ she said.

By Mpasho.co.ke

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Kamene Goro opens up on marriage struggles 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Kiss FM Presenter Kamene Goro on Monday October 19, spoke about her journey in the limelight and how one ultimate decision almost ruined her career in media.

Speaking in an interview on Jessy Junction, the 28-year-old, who has been in the media industry for 8 years, narrated how media was not her first choice in school.

“I went to the University of Nairobi where I pursued an undergraduate degree in law. I had numerous scholarship offers to study abroad but my father declined all of them, ” she said.

She further stated that her choice to pursue law was influenced by her father’s close connections within the said industry.

“During my second year, immediately after doing my clinicals, I was dispatched to a law firm, owned by my father’s friend, as a paralegal.

“Eight months passed by and I felt a calling to pursue something else. Then an opportunity presented itself at Ebru TV, which I took,” she stated.

In 2015 life took an immediate turn for the then 23-year-old, when she exchanged vows with a foreigner who had charmed his way into her life.

“I decided to call it quits on my job, so I gave my employer at Ebru TV a two days notice after which I travelled to Tanzania to live with my husband,” she recalls.

READ ALSO:   KQ receives final green light on direct US flights

Unbeknown to her family, the acclaimed presenter had left her career in the name of love, a decision which, she states, still haunts her.

She noted that during the course of the two year marriage, she experienced domestic squabbles like any normal couple but one phone call from her husband one evening made her life come to a screeching halt.

“One day when I was travelling to Nairobi, he (husband) called me and decided to end the marriage. In utter shock, I hung up the phone and that was the final time we spoke.

“Looking back, I thought he was my everything. For a whole week, I was a total wreck because of the divorce as I blamed myself for the failure of the marriage,” she added.

Her ability to cope with the ordeal was strenuous at first as she felt all her time invested in the marriage had gone down the drain.

The radio presenter however urged all ladies in similar situations to get back in the dating game in order to cease from self accusation.

The radio girl also responded to the backlash she received from supporting local Gengetone artistes.

“My choice of supporting Gengetone artistes is based on making an impact in the youths lives. The same critics who are quick to judge don’t pay for the artistes’ studio time or source for their venues. If you want them to sing clean, link them up with gospel artistes,” she opined.

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During the interview, the radio presenter disclosed her struggles with negativity and hurtful comments on social media which ensued from an ordeal which transpired a while back.

“One time a story was published about me, which stated that I allegedly received Ksh70,000 for going on a date. This story made headlines and forced me to leave the country for a while,” she revealed.

The comical side of Jessy was also seen throughout the interview as he tried to wow Kamene Goro with his charming antics.

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Man jailed for 20 years for chopping off neighbour’s fingers

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BY KEVIN KOECH

A man in Lamu county will face 20 years in jail after a Lamu court found him guilty of causing grievous harm.

Omar Yakub Athman chopped off four fingers of Mr Athman Omar Athman’s left hand.

The incident happened on 29th April 2019 in Tchundwa Village in Lamu East.

His actions were contrary to Section 234 of the Penal Code.

When officers arraigned him in court before Lamu Principal Magistrate Allan Temba, he denied the charges.

Omar’s plea of ‘not guilty’ prompted the Director of Public Prosecutions to call witnesses. Prosecution counsel Zacharia Kiongo and Eddie Kadede facilitated the entire process

The victim, Athman Omar Athman, had gone to assist his friend only identified as Hamza to collect stones.

The two were collecting stones from Hamza’s compound in Tchundwa village.

While collecting stones, the two saw a male and a female donkey rushing into the compound. They entered into Hamza’s house and came out running the same way they had gone in.

The accused later came into the compound asking for a donkey saddle.

The victim told him that they had not seen any donkey saddle.

Infuriated by the victim’s answer, the accused questioned what the victim’s intentions were.

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The victim responded by saying that he had nothing to do with a donkey saddle.

The accused person left and came back with a panga in hand.

Without saying anything, he aimed at the victim’s head.

While trying to defend himself, the victim blocked the panga with his hand.

His fingers got chopped off in the process.

The victim tried to run but the accused chased after him and slashed him on the left pelvis area.

The victim managed to rush into a neighbour’s house who rushed him to hospital.

After getting medical attention, he reported the matter to a police station.

Lamu Principal Magistrate Allan Temba pronounced the accused guilty as charged and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

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