Almost a year later after purchase, two of the three police helicopters bought at a combined cost of Ksh 4.6 billion have never left the ground and are just wasting away at the airport.
According to reports by the Nation, the National Police Service has been unable to get insurance for the two planes, which means that they cannot be allowed to fly within Kenya’s airspace.
On June 29, 2018, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i launched three brand new police helicopters, two AW139s and one A12 at Wilson Airport which were supposed to help beat back a surging crime wave.
It has now emerged that from the word go there were tell-tale signs that should have rang alarm bells about the new planes.
First, the security committee in Parliament complained that the Interior ministry had procured them without approval.
Then, during the launch of the choppers, ministry top honchos and high-ranking police officers rode in a different helicopter, instead of one of the new ones they had come to launch, for a demonstration flight.
Furthermore, reports seem to point to a much bigger problem at the Police Air Wing, whose spending is shrouded in secrecy under the guise of national security.
In November 2016, the Director National Police Air Wing wrote to the Inspector General asking for payment amounting to Ksh21,379,288 for training offered to pilots by three firms.
The Nation has established that two of the companies, Ventura Aviation, which was paid Ksh14,757,288 and West Rift Aviation, which received Ksh1,423,000, do not offer any aviation training.