The Commission of Inquiry into the helicopter crash that killed Internal Security minister George Saitoti, his deputy Orwa Ojode yesterday requested members of the public with any information on the accident to contact the it. The commission will start public hearing on Monday at the Kenyatta International Conference Center.
Justice Kalpana Rawal, the commision's chairperson, announced yesterday it had complied with all the requisite legal requirements paving way for the public inquiry to start. Rawal said the commission had started analysing the wreckage of the Eurocopter A350 B3 aircraft.
On Thursday, a baroscopic (atmospheric) inspection was carried out in the presence of experts representing the bereaved families. She said the commission is in the process of taking statements from "potential witnesses" and obtaining the necessary documents from the police and other relevant government agencies.
The public has until August 1 to present any evidence or information that can help to unravel the copter crash that also killed four other police officers. A public notice issued by the commission was published dailies newspapers on Wednesday.
Justice Rawal said information provided by the the public will be treated in strict confidence. "All information shall be treated in strict confidence and shall be used for purpose for which the commission was appointed," said Rawal. The focus of the commission is to establish the cause of the crash.
The Rawal commission will look into the purchase, maintenance and servicing of the copter. There has been intense speculation on the cause of the helicopter crash. Some MPs have alleged that drug barons were behind the copter crash.
Acting Internal Security minister Yusuf Haji has challenged anyone with information linking drug barons to the crash to share it with the government. Haji told a press brief that the government is doing all it can to assist the investigators to unravel the cause of the police helicopter crash on June 10.
"There has been misinformation and misrepresentation of facts including wild allegations made about the cause of the crash and the ongoing investigations. We call upon members of the public, including honourable Members of Parliament, who might have any information regarding this unfortunate tragedy to come forward and avail information publicly to the Commission of Inquiry. Wild allegations, speculation and rumour-mongering should cease immediately. This is a very serious matter and is not beneficial to the families of the departed colleagues and the entire nation," Haji said.