Saturday, December 7

President Kibaki declares Three Days’ Mourning for Kenyan helicopter crash victims

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NAIROBI: President Mwai Kibaki has declared three days of national mourning starting Monday following the tragic death of six people, including Kenya’s Internal Security Minister, Professor George Saitoti, and his Assistant Minister, Orwa Ojode, in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.

The two were heading to Orwa Ojode’s Ndhiwa Constituency in Homa Bay County in South Nyanza Province for a fundraising function when the helicopter they were in crashed in the Kibiku area in the Ngong Forest Sanctuary in Nairobi at about 9 am.

Others who perished in the crash were two bodyguards and two pilots.

The president said in a statement that the national flag would be flown at half-mast during the three days.

President Kibaki also sent messages of condolence to the families, friends and relatives of the two ministers, their body guards and the pilots. He described the death of the six Kenyans as a devastating loss to the country.

“It is with great sadness that this morning I learnt of the tragic deaths of the Minister for Internal Security and Provincial Administration, Prof. George Saitoti, and the Assistant Minister in the ministry, Hon. Orwa Ojode, their body guards and the pilot and co-pilot of the police helicopter that they were travelling in. “The deaths of the six Kenyans is a devastating loss to our country.”  — BERNAMA