A scandal involving a Ksh4 billion chopper is brewing at the Interior Ministry led by Dr Fred Matiang’i.
After the death of Joseph Ole Nkaissery on July 8th 2017, Matiangi was appointed in acting capacity as the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, however, now, he is fully in charge and given other roles.
The 2017/18 audit report indicated that the choppers were acquired at a cost of Ksh4 billion.
A report published by a local newspaper on Wednesday, February 19, stated that the ministry, under CS Fred Matiang’i, increased the cost of the three helicopters by Ksh 906,100, 927.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and Inspector General of Poice Hillary Mutyambai appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC), where they explained the additional spending, arguing that the extra amount was spent on upgrading the helicopters.
However, the problem is that the choppers have failed to fly since they were bought. Nonetheless, the PS, in their defence, informed the legislators that the disparity was occasioned by errors made during the tendering process.
“It is important to note that although the final cost of the helicopters went up, from the additional equipment that enhanced safety and airworthiness of the helicopters, the taxpayer received value for money,” Kibicho defended.
But that explanation did not escape the eyes of the MPS.
Tongaren MP Dr Eseli Simiyu put Kibicho to task:
“Who are these people who allowed those kinds of embarrassing errors? That shows some level of sloppiness and it embarrasses the entire country,” the MP implored.
On June 29, 2018, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i launched the three brand new police helicopters, two AW139s and one A12 at Wilson Airport which were expected to help curb crime.
Among the upgrades listed in the tendered, disfunctional choppers were weather radar, enhanced ground proximity, additional flight display, and advanced cameras.