Murkomen: My Ministry can't probe Ogolla's death

Kipchumba Murkomen

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen addresses journalists at the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi on Tuesday, following recent rise in road carnage.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Murkomen said his office is only involved in investigating crashes involving civilian aircraft.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has clarified that the recently gazetted team to investigate air crashes will not extend its scope to military aircraft.

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

The CS said his office is only involved in investigating crashes involving civilian aircraft.

"Locally, we have also witnessed incidents especially involving small aircraft like the recent one at the Wilson Airport which claimed the lives of a student and an instructor. As a Department of Transport, we don't investigate military aircraft. Our work is strictly limited to civilian aircraft," he said.

"As you heard from the President yesterday, it's the exclusive mandate of the Kenya Defence 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 it was worth noting that the Ministry of Transport has a legal mandate to investigate accidents involving civil aircraft, both private and commercial, a mandate derived from the laws and regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The Ministry of Transport last week gazetted a seven-member Aircraft Accident Investigation Team to investigate all air accidents in the country in the last three years.

The team, chaired by Captain Peter Maranga, will recommend measures to prevent a recurrence of the incidents and improve aviation safety in Kenya.

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

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

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

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

Ogolla was buried on Sunday at his rural home in Alego-Usonga, Siaya County, in a ceremony attended by President William Ruto and other senior government and military officials.

President William Ruto vowed to get to the bottom of the crash and said he would ensure that the results of the investigations are made public once they are completed.