Conduct of top air accident investigator questioned

The director of Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID), Captain Martyne Lunani, had falsified documents to show that he had gone to South Sudan on official investigation duties for seven days.

Investigations however later revealed that he was only there for one day.

The conduct of Kenya’s top aircraft accidents investigator has been questioned after it was revealed he made false claims of at least Sh442,000 to the Transport ministry.

The director, according to documents seen by the Nation, later admitted the fraud and opted to refund the money and issued a cheque Sh442,888.

Captain Lunani, according to sources at the Ministry, had travelled to South Sudan to investigate the site where a Kenyan-registered aircraft crashed.

He, however, only got a slap on the wrist from Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia who pardoned him and “warned against a repetition of such a deed in future”.

The CS said that as the director of the AAID, the government had entrusted Captain Lunani with resources which he ought to be managing prudently.

The department is mandated to investigate all accidents and serious incidents involving all civil registered aircraft that may occur within and outside Kenya but involving Kenyan registered aircraft.

“Such an act demonstrated lack of financial integrity on your part. You are required to demonstrate a high degree of integrity and be an ambassador of the Government on the fight against corruption,” the CS said in a letter dated April 27 and warned him that stern action would be taken in case of a repeat offence.

Captain Lunani, according to the letter, had claimed that for the sake of integrity promotion, he had opted to refund the money.

A senior government official said last week that the revelation did not augur well for the investigations into the police crashes.

“The assignment is sensitive and it is unfortunate that the man tasked with the investigations is implicated in such a petty fraud,” he said.

Captain Lunani has not responded to several enquiries by the Nation on the issue despite several reminders in the last four weeks.

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