In the form of junk helicopters with leaking engines..
PRIME Minister Raila Odinga's security officers panicked on Friday after an army helicopter stalled in Kericho with the PM on board. The chopper was taking off at the Kericho Tea Research Institute when the engine failed.
Witnesses heard a loud bang as the captain tried to take off. "We saw fuel oozing from the engine when he opened the plane, everyone became terrified," a witness said. But assistant minister Magerer Lang'at, who was seeing off the PM, described the incident as minor. "It really was not anything scary. The captain came down and said one engine had failed," Magarer said.
Though the captain is said to have given an assurance the anomaly would be fixed in five minutes, assistant minister Beatrice Kones is said to have advised the PM not to fly in the helicopter. Kones and Magerer were standing awaiting, the PM's chopper to take to the skies but were shocked when the-takeoff failed. "I heard Kones saying "what is this! what is this," she then insisted the PM should not use the chopper," a source said.
Raila's spokesman Denis Onyango who was also on board when the incident occurred confirmed that the PM decided to travel to Kisumu by road then fly to Nairobi. "Really there was no panic at all but the PM decided to travel by road to Kisumu from where he flew into the city," Onyango said.
Though the captain had promised the chopper would leave in minutes, the Star learnt that it flew to Nairobi on Saturday after a mechanical examination. Yesterday, the Department of Defence spokesman Bogita Ongeri said he was not aware of the incident. "I am not aware of such a thing," he said adding that he would check ab9ut the issue today.
In 2008 we captured image's of military officers draining fuel from a military chopper that had been used to fly the PM to Mathira Nyeri.