Skydive Diani Wants Ksh3.6m Compensation But the AG Will Have None of It after Deadly Skydiving Accident

May 10, 2019

Attorney-General Paul Kihara has contested an application by SkyDive Diani Club challenging the government’s order for it to cease operations.

The State, through the Interior Ministry, issued a letter for Skydive Diani Club to stop operations following the death of Zambian soldier David Pumulo in a skydiving accident in February.

But the club, owned by former parachute regiment officer at the British Army Mr Gary Lincoln-Hope, contested the order.

Mr Gary wants a declaration that the decision by the Interior Ministry and Kwale County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo is invalid, void and of no effect.

Skydive Diani further wants the ministry ordered to pay $36,000 (Sh3.6 million) with interest; money it had lost through membership as at April 14.

The club noted that the amount continues to grow as more members are lost.

In his affidavit, Mr Lincoln argued that there is a difference between military parachute training and civilian sports skydiving, which the club is engaged in.

But in his application, the AG claims Skydive failed to disclose in its suit documents that it was involved in the training of foreign security officers.

Mr Kihara, through litigation counsel Nguyo Wachira, said the club did not disclose that it had been paid by a foreign government to conduct air force training.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations Inspector Wesly Lagat said a probe carried out after the inquest file was opened revealed military officers were attending a skydiving course conducted by the club’s chairman Gary Lincoln.

“The training was illegal since the trainees were Zambian/ foreign military men on Kenyan soil and the (Kenyan) government had not been informed of the training,” Lagat said.

He added that Zambian Air Force paratroopers indicated that the Zambian government had paid Mr Lincoln and Skydive to train them.

Justice Eric Ogola is expected to deliver a ruling on June 19.

Mr Pumulo’s parachute is suspected to have failed and got entangled with a colleague’s. They both came tumbling down.

Mr Pumulo was pronounced dead at the Diani Hospital while his colleague was seriously injured.

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