Chronology of tragic plane c*****s involving top government officials

Friday, April 19th, 2024 01:45 | By
Former Internal Security Minister George Saitoti
Former Internal Security Minister George Saitoti. PHOTO/Print

Yesterday’s plane crash that claimed the lives of Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla and other top military officers is the latest in a spate of tragic military aircraft crashes involving high ranking personalities in close to two decades.

On June 10, 2012, Kenya was plunged into mourning after then Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his Assistant Minister Joshua Ojode and their aides were killed in helicopter crash in Ngong.

The Sunday morning crash occurred minutes after the two had taken off in a police chopper heading for a funds drive in Ojode’s Ndhiwa constituency, Homa Bay County.

Labour minister

Preliminary investigations indicated that the accident may have been caused by a mechanical problem although the police chopper was said to be new.

Barely a month after the Narc administration took over on December 30, 2002, Labour Minister Ahmed Khalif died when a helicopter carrying him and other Cabinet colleagues crashed while they were returning from the then Home Affairs Minister Moody Awori’s homecoming in Busia.

Ministers who survived the January 24, 2003 crash were Raphael Tuju (Information and Communications), Martha Karua (Water) and Linah Kilimo (Office of the President).

On April 10, 2006, a military cargo plane carrying a high-level Kenyan delegation on a peace mission crashed as it attempted to land in bad weather in the north of the country, killing 14 people, including five members of Parliament.

Among them the dead were Bonaya Godana, a long serving Cabinet Minister in the Kanu era who at the time of the accident, was deputy leader of then opposition Kanu.

Other lawmakers killed in the crash were Mirugi Kariuki, then Assistant Minister for Internal Security, Titus Ngoyoni, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and some of the area’s MPs, among them Tari Abdi Sasura and Guracha Galgallo Boru.

Also dead was Gen. Abdillahi Aden, a former Army Commander.

A provincial official and two crew members aboard the Chinese-made Y-12 aircraft were rescued from the crash site, on a hillside near the town of Marsabit.

The delegation was on its way to Marsabit for a meeting aimed at quelling tribal tensions in the area, about 300 miles north of Nairobi. 

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