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BREAKING NEWS By  Standard Reporter
President Mwai Kibaki has announced three days of national mourning in honour of people who perished in the Monday morning plane crash in Marsabit.

"It is with deep sorrow and regret that I have received the news of the death of 14 members of a Peace Delegation comprising of Assistant Ministers, Members of Parliament, Senior Government Officials and Kenya Airforce crew following a military plane crash near Marsabit this morning," Kibaki said.

Among the dead are assistant ministers Mirugi Kariuki, who was also Nakuru Town MP, and Laisamis MP Titus Ngoyoni. The dead MPs include Bonaya Godana (North Horr), who was also deputy Leader of Official Opposition, Abdi Sasura (Saku), Guracha Galgalo (Moyale) and Lieutenant General Abdulahi Aden-an MP in the East African legislative Assembly.

Others are Anglican Church Rev William Wako, Eastern Province Police officer Thomas Chigamba, police constable Yussuf Guyo, Kenya Airforce Pilots Macharia Njoroge and Captain Joseph Njogu Mureithi, Provincial Intelligence Officer John Ouma, Office of the President Undersecretary Gilbert Sian'ga, and Moyale District Commissioner, Peter King'ola.

In a televised address to the nation, Kibaki also wished quick recovery to the three survivors who include Eastern Provincial Commissioner Patrick Osare, and Kenya Airforce crew Sergeant Mureithi and Senior Private Mwamuye.

"It is unfortunate that this tragedy has occurred when the peace delegation was on its way for a crucial meeting of bringing peace and harmony among the communities living in the region," Kibaki said.

The plane had 13 passengers and four Kenya Airforce Crew on board at the time of the accident. The national flag will be flown at half mast during the mourning period.

Parliament to adjourn

Meanwhile National Assembly Speaker Francis Ole Kaparo, who held an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon, said the House would adjourn on Tuesday until all members who perished in the plane crash are buried.

Shock and gloom engulfed the House after members received news of the demise of the six colleagues. The Speaker and MPs agreed that no meaningful business could take place in the current circumstances. Kaparo was so overwhelmed that he broke into tears as he addressed the media after chairing the meeting.

The Kenya Airforce plane crashed into a hill as it approached Marsabit airstrip. Marsabit District Commissioner, Mutea Iringo, said the plane disintegrated on impact and burst into flames.

Earlier, President Kibaki expressed shock and concern following the crash. In his message, the President said he had received the news with ‘shock and disbelief’ especially bearing in mind that the officials were on a mission to broker peace in the region.

SOURCE: STANDARD April 10, 2006

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