A Cabinet minister and an assistant minister were killed along with two other people when their small plane crashed in south-western Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki said.
Roads minister Kipkalya Kones and assistant home affairs minister Lorna Laboso died in yesterday’s crash, Mr Kibaki said.
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 Mr Kones.
“Our country has lost leaders of immense potential at their prime age and with a promising future,” Mr Kibaki said.
Both politicians were members of prime minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement party. Mr 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.
Mr Kones was a five-term politician whose appointment to the Cabinet was part of a power-sharing deal between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga. Ms Laboso, a newcomer, was among the small number of women elected to Kenya’s National Assembly.
In 2006, two assistant Cabinet ministers and two MPs 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.