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KDF sets strict rules on use of aircraft by politicians

Concerns over the use of military aircraft by politicians have been longstanding

Deputy President  Rigathi Gachagua lands in Nanyuki for KDF Day celebrations on October 14, 2022

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has announced a new policy barring the use of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) aircraft to transport politicians.

In a TV interview on Wednesday, CS Duale emphasized that KDF assets are reserved strictly for eligible leaders and specific military functions.

“We now have a policy in the KDF that we're not going to carry politicians. Helicopters are meant for specific functions within the KDF.

"They are integral to the assets we use in safeguarding the country, transporting our troops, and conducting operations,” said CS Duale.

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He clarified that this policy applies to all KDF assets, not just aircraft. Exceptions will only be made for senior leaders visiting operation zones.

“When I am going for an operation, I will use military assets. Even my colleague from the Ministry of Interior, when visiting insecure areas like Boni or the North Rift, or an operation zone, can use our assets or police assets,” Duale added.

Concerns over the use of military aircraft by politicians have been longstanding, particularly highlighted by the recent chopper crash that killed former Chief of Defence (CDF) General Francis Ogolla.

This incident has raised critical questions among Kenyans, such as why no standby helicopter was available during the CDF trip.

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General Ogolla also travelled on a single-engine Bell Huey II instead of more secure options like the Puma or double-engine helicopters typically reserved for high-profile officials.

Recently, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga commented on reports that Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was denied a helicopter, suggesting it was part of a plot to mistreat the Deputy President.

"There are even stories of him being denied a helicopter, and I know there are others he is not telling us,” Governor Kahiga said during an interview on Inooro FM.

The DP was reportedly seeking a chopper to travel to Bomet for the National Tree Planting Day.

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According to Stephen Ndichu the former speaker for Kiambu County Assembly the feedback the DP's office got was that politicians should not use military choppers.

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