This afternoon, a light aircraft belonging to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) crashed at Kanyonga area in Masinga, Machakos county.
The crash killed two soldiers.
It is nnot clear what made the aircraft to crash as by the time of goign to press, KDF had not released any statement.
However, in the recent past, countless reports have fingered the govt for not replacing the ageing fleet of aircrafts used by KDF or replacing them with ones that are dilapidated.
In February 2017, Kenya’s bid to buy Sh41 billion attack aircraft from an American firm was questioned after five US legislators asked Congress to stop the deal because it was “inflated”, saying the cost was doubled.
In a letter to Kenyan Ambassador to the US Robinson Githae, the lawmakers said they had a “reason to question the acquisition” as the $418 million (Sh41.8 billion) cost should have been much less, by more than $200 (Sh20 billion).
They added that L3 Technologies, the company contracted to deliver the aircraft, “has no experience converting agricultural aircraft into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft with precision-strike capability”.
The kind of aircraft Kenya is interested in are Air Tractor AT-802L, originally built for agricultural use but remodelled into armed planes for military purposes.
In October 2017, local media also exposed KDF for buying defective aircrafts that has not been used since.
Kenyan military bought seven defective combat aircraft from the Royal Jordan Air Force it has not used for the past 10 years, bringing into question whether the public got value for money in the 2007 deal. – Nation Media Group reported.
Auditor-General Edward Ouko says audit verification of the aircraft, procured at an initial cost of $15,291,503 (Sh1.58 billion at current rate), shows that the defects identified at the time of delivery had not been rectified as at the date of inspection in June 2016.
“An audit verification of the aircraft was carried out in June 2016 at Laikipia Air Base and…audit of fuel and servicing records indicate that the seven aircraft have not been in operation from the time they were procured,” Mr Ouko says in a qualified audit opinion that has been submitted to Parliament.
“Today’s crash might be a product of either ageing fleet or badly maintained fleet or both’, a security expert speaking to kenyanbulletin.com said.
Kenya Air Force aircraft crashes at Kanyonga area in Masinga, Machakos county. Casualties reported by eye witnesses. Comfort and strength to families and friends. pic.twitter.com/gfKMznB5vH
— Dennis Itumbi, HSC (@OleItumbi) July 13, 2020