KDF Chopper Crash: Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi Buried Amid Demands For Answers

Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) was laid to rest in Alego/Usonga, Siaya County, amidst mounting questions regarding the military helicopter crash that claimed his life, along with Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Francis Ogolla and eight others last month.

During the funeral ceremony held at Ndiwo Primary School grounds on Friday, Siaya Governor James Orengo raised concerns about the circumstances surrounding the chopper assigned to CDF Ogolla on the day of the fatal accident. Governor Orengo emphasized the need for thorough investigations to determine the condition and maintenance history of the helicopter before the tragic crash.

“Why was a General, who led all Kenyan forces, and our son, allowed to board a helicopter that wasn’t fit for purpose? When was this helicopter serviced last and when was it brought into service?” questioned Orengo.

The Siaya County chief also criticized General Ogolla’s assignment in Elgeyo Marakwet, stating that it was inappropriate for the Chief of Defence Forces to conduct school inspections. “How can you send the Chief of Defence Forces for school inspections? Are there no other qualified personnel for such tasks? We need to understand why the General was sent to the location where the tragedy occurred,” he remarked.

Governor Orengo further voiced opposition to the government’s plan to deploy Kenyan troops to Haiti for a peacekeeping mission, arguing that it was irresponsible to send soldiers abroad while there are security challenges within Kenya. He stressed the importance of ensuring domestic peace and security before engaging in international missions.

“The government must prioritize ensuring security within Kenya before considering sending troops to Haiti. You can’t go to help your neighbor when your own home is not secure,” added Orengo.

The burial ceremony of Sergeant Omondi was attended by Interior Principal Secretary Dr. Raymond Omollo, who commended the KDF for their solidarity and support following the tragic incident on April 18, 2024.

“I appreciate the solidarity shown within the KDF family. Your support has been unwavering since the day of the unfortunate event, and it continues to be a source of strength for all the families affected. As a nation, we value and honor the service you provide to us all,” stated the PS.