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4 helicopters worth USD40m Kenya secretly bought lands at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

The aircraft were bought from Augusta Westland Company, an Italian-based helicopter designed manufacturing company, will be unveiled next Tuesday.

The aircrafts which Interior ministry bought without consulting parliament at a cost of  Sh4 billion, have landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

According to the company’s website, Leonardo’s Helicopter Division performs research, design, development, production, customer support and marketing of the company’s extensive range of modern helicopters for commercial, public service, and security and defence applications.

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Current production covers all the main helicopter weight categories, from the 1.8 tonne single-engine to the 16 tonne three-engine. All the helicopters are dual commercial and military use platforms except some specific military platforms (NH90, Super Lynx 300, AW159 and AW101).

Parliament learnt early week that Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior PS Dr Karanja Kibicho single-handedly did the procurement of the four choppers without consulting parliament, contrarily to the law.

National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security chaired by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange was told upon making an impromptu visit to the National Police Service Airwing in Nairobi.

“The committee was not informed. Members were surprised that aircraft can be bought without their knowledge. But we will follow up to the end,” the committee chairman Koinange said.

Oddly enough, a chopper said to have cost the taxpayer about Sh2.2 billion bought from the same Italy-based company crashed exactly five months after it was bought.

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The Augusta AW-139 police chopper crashed in Mathare, Nairobi in 2016 injuring four officers.

The 15-seater helicopter had been termed suitable for search and rescue missions, maritime patrol, law enforcement and VIP and corporate transport.

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Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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