President Uhuru cancels business trip to United States over blunder in planeâ€™s route
SEE ALSO :Renewables top 90pc of Kenya’s powerSaudi Arabia jet fighters have been pounding Yemen to defeat the Houthi rebels. The cancellation of the crucial trip has put the President’s handlers at State House, within the Kenya Air Force and at the KCAA on the spot for failing to map out a secure air corridor. They have also pointed accusing fingers at bureaucrats at the ministries of Transport, Foreign Affairs and Defence for the mishap that exposed the President. Incidentally, although the President returned to the country barely five hours after take-off, it took State House spokesperson almost 12 hours to tell the President slept at his house in Nairobi. Security experts and analysts Francis Maina and Mwenda Mbijiwe are emphatic that “someone slept on the job”. “When a high-profile person like the President is travelling, the security agencies and the aviation department must do an advance surveillance to know the safest route. The flight planning and flight path must be clearly established beforehand,” Mr Mbijiwe told The Standard on Saturday He added: ”The route marked should avoid the war zones as much as possible. There can be the danger of fire or even missiles. The KDF commanders should take responsibility for failing to scrutinise the President’s flight path resulting in the hitch.”
SEE ALSO :It pays to put cash in empowering peopleMr Maina noted that flights leaving Nairobi to Dubai go through Ethiopia then Saudi Arabia because Yemen is risky, with five different groups fighting including Al-Qaeda, the president should have flown directly to Europe to avoid these inconveniences. “His officers and the intelligence team should have surveyed the route. There is a serious threat using Yemen route, which is 100km on the gulf of Oman. Once again, his team has let him down.” Sheer Incompetence Centre for Policy and conflict, Executive Director, Ndungu Wainaina charged: “The President has security advisors who cannot guarantee even his own flight security. This is not just incompetence and dereliction of duty. It is demonstration of the depth of crisis in President Kenyatta’s Government. This is very disturbing.” Mbijiwe, despite acknowledging that KDF has the right to keep the President’s journey secret for security reasons, said it should have co-operated with their counterparts from other airspace to know the situation. “Even in protecting the life of the President and ensure his safety, by attempting to fly over the volatile Yemen airspace, it means they didn’t consult or seek clearance. Going by the Ukraine experience where the white widow ordered the plane to be shot down, KDF should not have taken any chances,” he said. He continued, “If commercial flights fly 30,000 feet above and they are allowed to fly over the Yemen airspace, the fighters can just use rocket high caliber missiles to bring down a plane. It is amazing that commercial flights have be banned yet the president was scheduled to fly through this route, what if the terrorists spotted it and brought it down?” The latest development exposes the lapses within the president’s security and advisory team in coordinating State House activities with other institutions.
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