ICC Note: Kenyan police Airwing Commander Rodgers Mbithi says the use of a Kenyan plane to transport his family had nothing to do with the slow arrival of Kenyan police on April 2, the day of the al-Shabaab attack on Garissa University College that left 150 people dead, mostly Christians. By the time police began their operation against al-Shabaab, 12 hours had already passed since the beginning of the terrorist attack and most of the victims had already been killed.
By Anugrah Kumar
4/20/15 Kenya (Christian Post) – A high police official has denied the allegation that the use of a police plane for a personal errand caused the commandos to respond 12 hours after the Somali terror group al-Shabaab began their attack at Kenya’s Garissa University College earlier this month, which killed nearly 150 students, mostly Christian.
Kenya Police Airwing Commander Rodgers Mbithi has told police investigators that his decision to allow his daughter-in- law and her children to be flown from Mombasa to Nairobi did not delay the movement of the Recce Company commando unit from Nairobi to Garissa, according to The Associated Press.
Mbithi stated he is legally allowed to ask his pilots to pick up and fly his relatives and civilians. He added that the air wing has only two planes and one small helicopter. The helicopter had taken a police commander to northern Kenya, and the other plane had gone to Mombasa for a training exercise.
The attack by four al-Shabaab terrorists began at around 5.30 a.m. local time on April 2. And by the time the flight carrying the official’s relatives departed Nairobi’s Wilson Airport at 7.26 a.m., the commando unit had not been informed of any need to fly to Garissa, the official said.
A police commando earlier told CNN that the response team was ordered to assemble for a mission to Garissa at 7 a.m., and at 8 a.m., the team was informed that no police aircraft was available to take them. One team of commandos finally departed around 12:30 p.m., followed by another about 30 minutes later.
After they arrived in Garissa, the commandos took about two-and-a-half hours to just rehearse the assault on the university compound, according to the commando source. The police assault began around 5 p.m., and in about 15 minutes, one commando and all four terrorists were killed.