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Big win for Kenya Air Force soldiers jailed after 1982 coup

By Nyaboga Kiage November 29th, 2023 2 min read

A total of 284 officers who served in the Kenya Air Force but were dismissed after being linked to the 1982 coup will now smile to the bank after the court ordered that they be paid full retirement and terminal benefits.

The office of the Attorney General was on Friday, November 24, 2023, ordered by a three-judge bench at the Court of Appeal to pay damages to the officers. The award was handed to the officers by the Environment and Labour Relations Court.

“The learned Judge, after finding that the respondents had proved their case to the required standard, directed the appellant to disclose the amount owed to each respondent, failing which he would use what the respondents presented as their dues,” read the ruling in part.

According to the three judges, the appellant, who is the Attorney General, had failed to produce the schedule of the dues as the office had been directed.

Also read: Kenya Air Force officer arrested after threatening cops at a police station

In 2016, the labour court awarded each of the officers Sh1 million after concluding that they were wrongfully imprisoned, they were tortured, and treated in an inhumane way without being given fair treatment for hearing their side of the story.

In the case, the 284 police officers had raised concerns that they had served within the Kenya Air Force since independence in 1983.

However, they were accused of playing a part in the 1982 coup that was aimed at toppling the former President, the late Daniel Moi, from power.

The officers narrated that they had been thrown into the Kamiti and Naivasha prisons, where they were tortured.

They said in their suit that they were beaten, tortured, and even, at times, slept naked, which made them sustain permanent physical injuries.

It is on those grounds that the officers went ahead and demanded damages.