41 new helicopters bought by politicians ahead of August polls

Helicopters are the preferred means of choice during campaigns

Supporters of Raila Odinga wave as he departs in a helicopter after addressing a rally held by his coalition party The National Super Alliance (NASA) in Kisumu on August 3, 2017. (Photo by FREDRIK LERNERYD/AFP via Getty Images)

It is exactly three months to the August 9 elections and fresh details have emerged that 41 new helicopters have been purchased and registered by politicians.

According to the Business Daily, 47 helicopters have officially been registered by civilians since last year with 41 of these belonging to politicians. The helicopters are beneficial to politicians who have to crisscross their constituencies and counties to woo voters.

The increase in aircraft can also be attributed to the resumption of frequent travel after reduction in Covid-19 cases. In 2020, during the onset of the Pandemic only 26 helicopters were registered.

“The resumption of international flights on August 1, 2021, within the Covid-19 operating period spurred revival of passenger operations within the aviation industry and operators renewed their certificates of airworthiness in order to continue with operations,” revealed the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

Aero Club of East Africa, one of Kenya's private aviation clubs pinned the increase in registration of planes to the growth of wealthy Kenyans and foreigners.

Aside from politicians, helicopters are also bought by large-scale farmers, ranchers and business moguls. The latter especially enjoyed a rebound in the economy in 2021 compared to 2020.

The 2022 Economic Survey shows that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) leap-bounded from a negative 0.3 per cent in 2020 to 7.5 per cent in 2021.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) attributed the growth in economy to the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and a conducive micro-environment.

KNBS noted that the sectors that benefited the most since the lifting of restrictions include: agriculture, transport, storage, real estate, repairs, wholesale, retail trade among others.

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