“Let me go, the President of the Republic of Kenya has sent me a helicopter.”
Those were the words uttered by controversial, self-proclaimed ‘Prophet’ David Owuor to an ecstatic audience outside a popular hotel at the end of his three-day prayer crusade in Nakuru on January 1, 2019.
Only seconds prior to uttering those words, Owuor had posed to his flock, “are there people who want to receive the Lord right now?” to which they answered with a resounding “Yes” and he led them in a word of prayer before finally declaring “I have blessed you eternally.”
The preacher — in his trademark long robe and dread locked beard — was then escorted to a helicopter (registration 5Y-HNB belonging to Pro Flight Limited) in the company of his security detail and police officials from the region.
However, before climbing on board Owuor alludes to the destination of the supposed meeting with the President being somewhere on Riverside Drive where “all the guests are coming and there is going to be a big party.”
But, perhaps, the question that has wandered on the lips of many Kenyans since the now viral video surfaced on January 2 is this: Did President Uhuru Kenyatta really hire and send out a chopper for the controversial preacher?
Well, speaking to Citizen Digital on phone on Sunday, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said nothing of that sort happened.
“I am not aware of any such meeting (between President Kenyatta and Owuor). And none (chopper) was sent out,” said Ms. Dena.
Confirming Ms. Dena’s statement, Pro Flight Limited proprietor Captain Neepe stated that the said helicopter was hired by an individual who contacted his company via social media, which he added was not the case as with government contracts.
Captain Neepe further stated that whoever chartered the chopper paid in cash, which, again, is not the government’s preferred mode of payment.
“I have done a lot of business with State House before. They always send us an LSO (Local Service Order) and they pay after a while… and you can actually see on the bank account that it is from State House. We have never dealt with them in cash,” said the proprietor.
“It’s only individuals that we emphasize on cash because we don’t know them, but government bodies or parastatals we accept LSO because it is binding.”
He further added: “This one was not State House. With State House normally there are protocols, we get requests from procurement. In this case it was just an individual who called two to three days prior and paid.”
It would hence appear that President Uhuru Kenyatta neither chartered a chopper for Owuor, nor was there a meeting, but the ‘prophet’ merely name-dropped the Head of State.
The preceding question then, perhaps, becomes: will there be any consequences for the good ol’ preacher’s actions? Or is it perfectly legal to name-drop the President at will, even for us mere mortals? That remains to be seen.