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Locals Stole From Dying KDF Soldiers

According to the detectives, some of the valuables include watches, mobile phones and shoes believed to have been taken by first responders to the scene.

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Members of the public who rushed to the helicopter crash scene where Chief of Defence Forces Gen Francis Ogolla and eight of his juniors died stole some items belonging to the victims.

A military probe team known as Board of Inquiry, spearheaded by Commander of Laikipia Airbase, Brig Mohamed Salah Farah has been established to investigate the April 18 military chopper crash.

The detectives have already visited the sorrounding villages where the crash happened at Kaben-Cheptulel border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot in the banditry prone North Rift region to recover the stolen items.

According to the detectives, some of the valuables include watches, mobile phones and shoes believed to have been taken by first responders to the scene.

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By yesterday, some of the mobile phones were still being switched on and off, suggesting that those keeping them were wary of being tracked down for handling stolen property.

General Ogolla’s family said the only thing that was handed over to them by the military from the site was his wedding ring.

Some of the bodies were intact when
they were picked from the scene while others were burnt following the crash that happened soon after the chopper had tak- en off. “Some of these people are walking around with the valuables including mo- bile phones and shoes of the victims,” said an official, adding, the items are needed as part of the ongoing probe.

The team has contacted local leaders to help in talking to the said responders who are yet to surrender the valuables.

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Police are also helping with the probe. One of the items the probe team will be seeking to recover is the fallen General’s Bible, which is said to have disappeared during the crash.

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Speaking at the fallen General’s memo- rial service at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang’ata, Nairobi, Joel, his son, sent out an impassioned plea to the military to re- cover his father’s treasured Bible, saying he would want to preserve it as a memento.
Precious possession

“As he lies here with his uniform, I see they put his medals, his sword and boots. He loved it as a tool for the job but nothing more. Don’t be under any illusion that he thinks he is important once he breathed his last,” Joel noted.

He went on to tell the gathering which included the President and Commander In Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces William Ruto how his father treasured his Bible, at times engaging his family in a Bible com- petition. “Somewhere in the helicopter wreck is his Bible, which was his most pre- cious possession, Joel went on, as he eulo- gized his father.

Anyone who worked with his father, Joel added, would attest that he always carried a Bible with him wherever he went.

He implored the team that visited the ac- cident scene, and probably the investiga- tions team too, to try their best and retrieve the Holy Book.

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“I am hoping that they are able to re- trieve it from the accident (scene). I’d want to keep it as a memento and for the rest of the family as well,” he said.

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Thorough probe

Leaders have called for an investigation into the crash to rule out foul play.

President William Ruto promised to en- sure investigation into the crash and the report made public.

Speaking during the service at Senator Barack Obama’s Primary School in Siaya, Ruto expressed confidence in the professionalism of the military in probing the he- licopter crash. “The Kenya Defence Forces is as concerned as I am on the life of Ogolla. There will be no shroud of doubt on what happened to General Ogolla,” he said.

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Find closure

The President declared that there will never be cases of extra-judicial killings or political assassinations in his regime.

“There shall never be extra-judicial kill- ings or political assassinations in Kenya under my watch,” he said.

Leaders demanded that the outcome of the investigation be made public to enable Nyanza region that has lost several gallant sons in the past, to find closure.

Siaya Senator and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s elder brother Oburu Oginga said no stone should be left unturned in the probe into Ogolla’s death.

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