, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 18 – A requiem mass for four police officers who perished in a helicopter crash a week ago alongside former Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode is currently underway in Nairobi.
The mass at the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi is being attended by several cabinet Ministers and MPs led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
Caskets bearing the remains of the four officers—pilots Nancy Gituanja, Luke Oyugi, bodyguards Inspector Joshua Tonkei and Sergeant Thomas Murimi—were taken to the church grounds shortly before 9 am.
They were all draped in the Kenya Police flags.
All the pall bearers consisted of police officers dressed in their blue ceremonial dress, to honour their departed colleagues.
The late Gituanja and Oyugi were pilots of the ill-fated helicopter that went down in Kibiku forest in Ngong while Tonkei and Murimi were bodyguards who accompanied the late Professor Saitoti.
The bodies were first placed outside the church until 10.10 am when they were taken in.
The programme was largely controlled by the police, with all visitors other than VIPs and close family members undergoing thorough screening at both entrances.
Gituanja and Murimi will be buried on Tuesday in Kandara, Murang’a and Kehancha, Kuria respectively while Tonkei will be buried at his Narok home on Wednesday followed by Oyugi’s burial in Siaya the following day.