updated 6/10/2008 1:23:27 PM ET 2008-06-10T17:23:27

A Kenyan Cabinet minister and an assistant minister were killed with two other people Tuesday when their small plane crashed in southwestern Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki said.

Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones and Assistant Home Affairs Minister Lorna Laboso died in the crash, Kibaki said in a statement. The plane's wreckage had been found and there were survivors, he said. The other victims were the plane's pilot and an aide to Kones.

"Our country has lost leaders of immense potential at their prime age and with a promising future," Kibaki said.

Both lawmakers were members of Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement party. Odinga's spokesman, Salim Lone, called it "unbearable news."

The plane went down in Narok, about 75 miles from the capital, Nairobi, according to Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority.

Kones was a five-term lawmaker whose appointment to the Cabinet was part of a power-sharing deal between President Mwai Kibaki and Odinga. Laboso, a new lawmaker, was among the small number of women elected to Kenya's National Assembly.

In 2006, two assistant Cabinet ministers and two lawmakers were among more than a dozen people who died when a military plane crashed while trying to land during bad weather.

In 2003, a plane carrying four Cabinet ministers crashed in western Kenya, killing one minister and the two pilots.

A public inquiry recommended no more than three Cabinet ministers or senior government officials should travel on the same flight for security reasons.

The report also said many airstrips in the country were poorly maintained and the government did not allocate enough money for repair and maintenance.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments