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Airwing chiefs grilled over misuse of police plane during Garissa attack

The team formed to investigate allegations of misuse of police aircrafts and corruption in the procurement of parts on Thursday grilled the airwing’s director and his deputy.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Administration Police and Kenya Police Service on Thursday questioned the National Police Service Airwing Director John Ochieng and his deputy, Mr Rogers Mbithi.

According to sources, Mr Ochieng was questioned about the general operations at the airport and the reporting structures.

GARISSA ATTACK

The investigations were ordered by the Inspector- General of Police Joseph Boinnet to establish whether it was right for Mr Mbithi to release the aircraft without informing the director two hours after being notified of the Garissa University College attack.

The raid was reported to the police around 5.30am and at 7.30am, Mr Mbithi released the aircraft to go to Mombasa on an instruction flight.

One of the pictures  posted on Instagram that showed the misuse of Kenya police planes. PHOTO | COURTESY
One of the pictures posted on Instagram that showed the misuse of Kenya police planes. PHOTO | COURTESY

Although Mr Ochieng, a Senior Assistant Inspector- General, was appointed as the director last year and Mr Mbithi his deputy, there has never been a clear reporting structure.

The latter has maintained that he only reports to the Deputy Inspector-General in charge of the Kenya Police, Grace Kaindi.

TURF WARS

Their appointment was aimed at improving the performance, operational capability and viability of the unit, but this has not been possible due to turf wars.

The detectives carrying out the investigations are deputy DCI director Gideon Kimilu, the officer in charge of reforms at police headquarters Alice Naliaka, APs Joseph Onsondo, the officer in charge of inspections at Vigilance House Stephen Chelimo and Mr Kinoti Narangwi.

Another investigation has also been launched on the procurement of aircraft parts, maintenance and the training of pilots, as well as on reports that the airplanes are used in training civilians.