Theft of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) items took place as members of the public hurried to the helicopter crash site, where Chief of Defence Forces Gen Francis Ogolla and eight of his subordinates tragically lost their lives. Consequently, a military probe team, headed by Commander of Laikipia Airbase, Brig Mohamed Salah Farah, has been assembled to investigate the military chopper crash that occurred on April 18.

Detectives have already conducted visits to the surrounding villages near the crash site at Kaben-Cheptulel border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot in the banditry-prone North Rift region to retrieve the stolen items. Among the recovered valuables, as reported by the detectives, are watches, mobile phones, and shoes, suspected to have been taken by first responders at the scene.

Some of the mobile phones were observed to be intermittently powered on and off, indicating that those in possession of them were cautious about being traced for possessing stolen goods.

The family of General Ogolla stated that the only item handed over to them by the military from the crash site was his wedding ring.

Reportedly, some bodies retrieved from the scene were found intact, while others had suffered burns as a result of the crash, which occurred shortly after the helicopter had taken off.

“Some of these people are walking around with the valuables including mobile phones and shoes of the victims,” said an official, adding, the items are needed as part of the ongoing probe.

The team has reached out to local leaders to assist in communicating with the responders who have not yet surrendered the stolen items.

The police are also aiding in the investigation. Among the items the probe team will seek to recover is the fallen General’s Bible, reportedly missing since the crash.

Speaking at the fallen General’s memorial service at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang’ata, Nairobi, Joel, his son, sent out an impassioned plea to the military to recover his father’s treasured Bible, saying he would want to preserve it as a memento.

“As he lies here with his uniform, I see they put his medals, his sword and boots. He loved it as a tool for the job but nothing more. Don’t be under any illusion that he thinks he is important once he breathed his last,” Joel noted.

As he addressed the gathering, which included the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, William Ruto, he shared how his father cherished his Bible, often involving their family in Bible competitions. "Somewhere amidst the wreckage of the helicopter lies his Bible, his most cherished possession," Joel continued, as he paid tribute to his father.

“Anyone who worked with his father, Joel added, would attest that he always carried a Bible with him wherever he went.

He implored the team that visited the accident scene, and probably the investigations team too, to try their best and retrieve the Holy Book.

“I am hoping that they are able to retrieve it from the accident (scene). I’d want to keep it as a memento and for the rest of the family as well,” he said.

Leaders have called for an investigation into the crash to rule out foul play.

President William Ruto promised to ensure investigation into the crash and the report made public.

Speaking during the service at Senator Barack Obama’s Primary School in Siaya, Ruto expressed confidence in the professionalism of the military in probing the helicopter crash. “The Kenya Defence Forces is as concerned as I am on the life of Ogolla. There will be no shroud of doubt on what happened to General Ogolla,” he said.

The President declared that there will never be cases of extra-judicial killings or political assassinations in his regime.

“There shall never be extra-judicial killings or political assassinations in Kenya under my watch,” he said.

Leaders insisted that the results of the investigation be disclosed to the public, allowing the Nyanza region, which has lost numerous courageous individuals in the past, to attain closure.

Siaya Senator and ODM leader Raila Odinga's elder brother, Oburu Oginga, emphasized the necessity of thoroughly investigating Ogolla's death, leaving no aspect overlooked.