Nairobi News


Raila secretly returns to Kenya from Dubai after surgery

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is back in the country after a three-week medical stay in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he underwent a minor surgery.

Mr Odinga made a quiet return into the country on Sunday evening aboard the luxurious Constellation Aviation Airline Airbus A318-112(CJ) Elite A6-CAS, MS4211.

Multiple sources close to the leader confirmed to the Nation that Mr Odinga had indeed arrived.

Multiple flight tracking sites showed that the 10-year-old UAE-registered Airbus A318 private jet, which seats 19 passengers, landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Sunday evening at 9:49 PM, having left the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai at 5:13pm on the same day.

Interestingly, the jet was scheduled for trip on Sunday to Zambia but was diverted to Nairobi, according to multiple aircraft tracking sites.

It had initially left for Lusaka on Sunday morning, but was diverted back to Dubai while overflying Saudi Arabia, the tracking sites showed.

Last Thursday, ODM deputy party leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, together with minority whip Junet Mohamed, left the country aboard the same jet for Dubai where they were expected to accompany the party leader back into the country on Sunday.

Also, in the entourage was Mombasa County Assembly Speaker Ibrahim Khatri.

Mr Odinga was admitted to a German hospital in Dubai.

“Jakom (Raila) is out of the country for a minor surgical operation on his back. It is not a serious health issue, but just a minor one. So, he’s okay,” his brother, Dr Oburu Oginga, earlier told the Nation.


The Airbus A318 private jet, which the Nation understands was expected to airlift the ODM leader back to the county on Sunday, boasts of mahogany interiors, AN entourage lounge, VIP dining and lounge area, a private office, and a VIP bedroom “designed to make our clients feel right at home during long flights,”, the operator said of the aircraft on its website.

The smallest airliner in the Airbus A320 family, the A318 carries up to 132 passengers for the most commercial airlines that use it, but this has been customised for under 20 passengers.

Constellation Aviation Airline, the aircraft’s operator which offers ‘premium VIP private jet charter service’, is based in United Arab Emirates.

It operates a modern, state-of-the-art medium and long-range fleet of privately-owned aircrafts.