Nairobi News


We only probe civilian air crashes, not military says Murkomen

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has clarified that the recent team gazetted to probe aircraft mishaps will not extend its scope to military planes.

In a statement, Murkomen clarified reports that he has formed a team to probe the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) chopper crash that killed Chief of Defence Forces, General Francis Ogolla and nine others.

The CS said that his docket is only involved in probing crashes involving civilian aeroplanes.

“Locally, we have also witnessed incidents particularly involving small aircraft such as the recent one at Wilson Airport, which claimed the lives of a student and an instructor. As a department of transport, we don’t investigate military planes. Our work is strictly restricted to civilian aeroplanes,” he said.

“As you heard from the President yesterday, it’s the exclusive mandate of the Kenya Defense Forces to investigate accidents involving military aircraft. My Ministry deals with purely civil aviation both private and commercial which is non-military and non-state aviation.”

He said that it was worth noting that the Ministry of Transport has the legal mandate to investigate civilian aircraft accidents for both private and commercial planes, a mandate derived from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) laws and regulations.

The Ministry of Transport last week gazetted a seven-member Aircraft Accident Investigation Team to survey all the air misses that have happened in the country for the last three years.

The team chaired by Captain Peter Maranga will recommend action to be taken to avoid future recurrence of the incidents and to improve aviation safety in Kenya.

The team also comprising Captain Nduati Herman Njama, Rtd Lt Colonel Mike Mulwa, Ephantus Kamau, Captain Valentine Wendoh, Captain Martin Lunami and Brenda’s Mwango acting as the joint secretary, has been given three months to complete the task and present a report to the CS.

They will also review all the preliminary accident reports for accidents involving Kenya-registered and/or operated aircraft presented by the Republic of South Sudan and the Federal Republic of Somalia for the last five years.

General Ogolla died in a military chopper crash in Elgeyo Marakwet on Thursday while on official duty.

Nine other soldiers also perished in the crash, with only two surviving.

Ogolla was laid to rest on Sunday at his rural home in Alego-Usonga, Siaya county, in a ceremony attended by President William Ruto and other high-ranking officials in the government and military.

President William Ruto promised to get to the bottom of the crash and said he would ensure the findings of the investigations are made public once they are complete.