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Uhuru planning must be better: Experts

24 April 2015, 13:48 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta's planners must do better in future to avoid scenarios that might place the head of state in danger, experts have said.

The fact that the Head of State was forced to come back to the country because his flight plans to Dubai put him in danger was a shock to many experts, both aviation and security.

In a statement, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said President Kenyatta’s aircraft was destined for Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he was due to connect to a commercial flight to Los Angeles.

" Following reports of increased military activity in Yemen, there was a challenge on the routing leading to a decision to turn back. The President touched the ground at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11.42 pm," Esipisu said.

President Kenyatta had left Nairobi Thursday evening on board his official Kenya Airforce aircraft and was expected to travel to the United States to attend the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. 

The spokesman however, did not divulge further details on the matter but considering the President's status, questions were obviously bound to be asked about his safety.

Joe Osogo, aviation expert

" The only likely explanation for the use of the Yemen route would be to save time. That is the reason the route has been used previously.

" It takes nearly double the time to use alternatives, so it makes sense to try it, especially as it was a private jet.

" On the other hand, there is usually a flight plan in advance and the reasons for or against certain routes are usually laid out and the fact that Yemen has had issues must have come up at some point.

" To the best of my knowledge in addition, airlines have been avoiding the route so they should have known.

" I find it very weird that he (The President) had to have left the country for a decision to be made. Why didn't they make the decision in Nairobi?, he adds.

Wilson Njiri, security expert

" It is puzzling to be honest. This is a farce. Who flies a President over a war zone anyway?," he asks?

" It is simple, common sense. If there is war, there is risk.

" The planning is a joke. It is not the first time the president has been handled carelessly. There was the trip to Migori last year where there was intelligence that there would be unrest but he still went there.

" Something has to give in my view because we cannot wait for something bad to happen before we make a move to change it.

" I think there is a serious problem with the planning. We wait and see," he adds.

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