JKIA police boss moved as detectives intensify probe

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NAIROBI; KENYA: Nyanza Provincial Police Officer Joseph ole Tito has been appointed the new Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Commandant.

Tito will replace Eunice Kihoko and will operate under a wider mandate, which puts him in charge of all security operations at the airport.

The appointments came after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered that all security matters at the airport be put under one command following the inferno that razed the international arrivals section.

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Meanwhile, detectives have widened their probe to emergency service providers that responded during the fire at JKIA.

The team handling the incident will interrogate fire marshals from Kenya Airports Authority and Nairobi County.

“There is a feeling there was negligence from all quarters including the KAA and emergency service providers as far as the response and handling of the scene was concerned. There was too much complacency,” said one officer.

The detectives have also questioned seven officers who were in charge of the operations at the international arrivals terminal where the fire started.

Challenge

The officers were supervising the officers who had been brought as reinforcement teams but items allegedly stolen from the airport were found in their possession. They include cash and alcohol from some of the destroyed shops, hotels, banks, mobile service providers and other agencies.

Millions in local and foreign currency was lost amid claims some individuals who responded during the fire incident looted the cash.

Apart from police officers, fire fighters from various institutions including the military, G4S, National Youth Service, KAA among others participated in the Wednesday fire incident.

“None has been arrested and what we are doing is normal to see who did what and when. Investigations are going on well,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police Grace Kaindi. Police want to know how the first fire engine arrived at the scene and what happened later on.

President Uhuru Kenyatta indicated any form of negligence that led to the losses would be punished.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau has defended the emergency response and argued that the location of the scene of fire was a challenge. “The fire started on second floor and it was difficult for the firemen to reach there in time but I am impressed by the response,” said Mr Kamau.

There were claims of four passengers awaiting deportation when the fire broke out, and who have since been traced, but Kaindi denied the claims. Up to 200 people have been questioned over the fire incident.-standardmedia.co.ke

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