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Recce plane carried police airwing boss’ daughter in law as Garissa Massacre unfolded

Photos have emerged on Instagram of young girls on the police airplane that should have flown Recce officers to deal with the Garissa attack. The Instagram photos were on the account of Ndanu Munene Mbithi, said to be the daughter of Kenya Police Airwing Commandant Rogers Mbithi.

The photos show Ndanu posing with another girl on two occasions, one marked 10 weeks ago and one 62 weeks ago. Both photos are captioned, “Mombasa ni raha tu” ( Mombasa is just bliss). A third photo of a girl inside the plane is dated 27 weeks ago and captioned, “Hi Mombasa. #birthdayweekend.”

The Instagram account also linked to Twitter and Facebook accounts under the name of Ndanu Mbithi were deactivated Monday when the photos became public. Outraged Kenyans online questioned the abuse of the plane and why the accounts had been deactivated.

Over the weekend, it emerged that the Cessna plane which could have ferried the Recce unit to the Garissa Univeristy was unavailable as it had flown to Mombasa on a private trip without the authorisation of the Inspector General of Police.

IG Joseph Boinet has confirmed receiving a report confirming that the plane was not available as it had flown some private individuals to Mombasa. The Kenya Police Air Wing aircraft left Wilson Airport on April 2 at 7.30am on Thursday, two hours after al Shabaab attacked Garissa University, and arrived at the Mombasa airport at 9.30am.

The plane had reportedly been hired out by senior police officers to a Nairobi businessman and was also under instructions from Mbithi to pick up his daughter-in-law and her child. Police aircraft should not be deployed on private business, except in emergencies and with authorisation from the IG..

According to the plane’s authorisation sheet, it left Mombasa at 9.35am, arrived at Wilson at 11.35am, and then left for Garissa at 12.30pm with one team of Recce Unit officers. Another team of Recce officers left Wilson airport seven minutes earlier on a different aircraft to go to Garissa University College.

The plane landed at Garissa at 1.55pm and 10 minutes later returned to Nairobi. It arrived at 3.30pm before going back to Garissa 15 minutes later. The plane spent the night in Garissa, left at 10.40am on Good Friday and landed at Wilson Airport at noon. There has been outrage at the slow pace with which the Recce officers were deployed to Garissa.

The Recce team was on standby from 6am but only arrived at the university in the afternoon when they took around 15 minutes to end the siege. There have been questions on why Recce was not authorised to go in earlier to deal with the attack that left 147 people, mostly students, dead.

Source: The Star Newspaper

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