Saturday, October 29, 2022 – Police Officers are up in arms over Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s plan to take their sophisticated and most expensive custom-made operational chopper.
The DP had apparently asked the Kenya Airforce for a chopper to use for his official duties.
But since the military had no chopper to give Gachagua, they reportedly advised him to ask for one from the police.
State House Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei wrote to the Inspector General of police and ordered the handover of one of the two Agusta AW139 choppers to the Kenya Airforce for use by the DP.
The military has now demanded that the police hand them a chopper that was factory-made for surveillance purposes.
This is despite the fact that there is another one, which is in the VIP factory configuration.
“The one they picked has a surveillance camera with a screen monitor in the cabin and it is linked to two ground stations based in Nairobi and Mombasa, which can receive live transmissions when the helicopter is airborne,”one official aware of the issue said.
The chopper also has two vehicle-mounted stations which can be taken to any part of the country where there is conflict to enable commanders to see the real situation on the ground.
This means the mounted equipment on the chopper to be used by the DP will be dismantled.
Police have protested the move by the military to demand the surveillance chopper instead of the VIP one, saying it is aimed at crippling their own internal operations.
“It means all this equipment, which cost the government huge sums will be dismantled when we have a fully configured VIP Agusta which they don’t want to take. Ask them why,” another officer said.
The officers at the National Police Service Airwing want their commanders to stand firm and reject the military move.
A senior officer aware of the issue said the matter will be escalated to the President for his information and decision.
“It is important for him to know where we are and why. We have suffered much and with this move, it means some operations will be grounded,” the official said.
The advanced mission helicopter which is now in contention is equipped with a camera capable of scanning car number plates and zooming into individuals in a crowd within a range of at least five kilometres.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.