By FRANCIS NGIGE
The message went out as intriguing questions arose about the near-simultaneous helicopter crashes, two of which burnt out on the ground, even as two soldiers were confirmed dead and four missing.
On Tuesday evening the bodies were moved to Nairobi, along with the eight soldiers rescued Tuesday and seven on Monday.
Top on the list of questions is whether it is true the four Ugandan pilots landed their helicopters in an isolated private farm in Kapchai village in Sirisia, while in the full knowledge they were ferrying heavy military weapons to Somalia in anticipation of African Union’s strike at the heart of Al-Shabaab.
Even more poignant is the interest Kenya Government took on this claim to the extent that Tuesday its regional administrator was at the farm linking the farmer with Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua for a phone conversation. At the end of which the old man said the helicopters merely flew low above his land, and he could see the occupants.
Secondly, is why the lead pilot in the formation sauntered through the bad weather over Mt Kenya, while the other three came down within a 500m radius of each other.
Investigators would also be asking about the technical capabilities of the military helicopters, which ideally should move at night and even pick out targets, but which in this case seemingly could not survive foggy and turbulent winds.
They will also be interested to know about the pilots’ level of training and experience, and whatever technical support they got from the Kenya Defence Forces, which gave them a safe passage
Although bad weather has largely been blamed for the accident, the cause of the multiple crashes is not conclusive given the lingering questions.
The crash, perhaps the first on Kenya airspace involving multiple aircraft from a foreign army, has raised other burning questions, including the strange coincidence that three came down, but the one leading the formation made it to Mogadishu.