Thursday, August 30, 2012

The June helicopter crash that kiled Saitoti and Ojode, ministers

There are problems... pic by PIK (2012)

Why fly anyone on a chopper that is missing anything and why fly two ministers and their bodyguards in a chopper that has indicated trouble with red lights for a long time? Well the chopper crashed and everyone died. Do we need to read any crime novels?

Money lay scattered all around in the debris. The minsters were on a journey to a church where pastors or priests or both were waiting for money from politicians to build this or that church or to make repairs. It is election time in Kenya. It is not only the poor people who take handouts for a loaf of bread or tea or mandazi muffin, it is also the priests and nuns and schools and so many others so that they can build their nation quickly before election funds dry out.

How could it happen that we were so careless with security of the security keeper of Kenya? Kenay has in 2012 lost far too many people, 1 300 lives in road accidents. Just last week some tourists perished at the Mara Airstrip. Why were they taking a flight? They were probably mainly flying in a small craft because the Narok Maai Mahiu road is a pit, I imagine. It has been years since this road has not been repaired and unless there is another reason that goes beyond all reasons it seems just incredible that matters are this way for after all, Kenya depends on tourism in a large way for her economy to thrive.

This road must be repaired. It has taken almost two decades in a catastrophic shape. Why is it that things can go so out of order? How is it that it does not become a main concern and people are sacked for sleeping on the job? Why are some other roads high priority but not this one very important road? Why are we not learning?

In a recent hearing on what caused this June 10 2012 accident that took the minister of internal security and the deputy minister for internal security, I was horrified to read yesterday in our Kenyan media that one man had raised concern over the aircraft and that he had been told it was fine. Well, I am not here speculating what happened as a Commission of enqiry under the Justice Kalpana of Kenya is doing its work but am blogging on lesson for Kenya. I say that this chopper is like Kenya and if we do not take care we shall damage many generations to come for they will not see the light of leadership in us. I know it is professionals who failed although why they failed so much to protect the one who was seen to be the protector of the nation and the assistant in that job it is hard to fathom but politicians are failing and will fail even more if we do not take stock of many things.

I read on the same day the Kenya Hansard of June 12 2012. If you google it you will find it for the Kenyan Hansard is on the internet. You will find the condolences and speeches given by most members of Parliament in the Kenyan Parliament. They are quite at ease and all of them telling us something about the members who died that they value. I have to first say that with regard to Honorouble Ojode who managed a fund that Parliamentarians get loans from the chorus was how he gave them loans in a record 20 - 30 minutes. This was repeated often by member after member. It is a good thing that Members were grateful but once again it was all about money and getting money. Hon. Ojode played his role well and many were fond of him. His nickname Sirkali was known to all. We got to know that Saitoti used to call him Ole Turkan in jest and so on. Members were fighting to get a chance to talk. After some time, it did seem like the time could have been spent better but we have to understand that the Members like the rest of Kenyans were under shock.

But this is my real concern. Some members did repeat that the last meeting they had with the two was in the Mombasa Peace Conference. I wanted to hear more about this Conference also way past the death of the two. Instead we are seeing Mombasa not so peaceful. It is interesting that the Minister for Internal Security then was emphasising and is reported to have said that it matttered much that the way to the next election be a peaceful one. Hey, he was not saying the election only. He was saying the way to, meaning all the time we have between now and the election. This is what has disappeared out of the MPs discourse far too fast. This is what also the main Kenyan opinion shapers and here I would like to mention the churches because they do play a major role which I am critical in of in many ways because it can be better, much better have not played up enough. We have not heard this message in meetings with DCs and Chiefs in the villages. Hardly.

The most significant thing for all of us is that this Hansard reports in the words of the office of the Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs that Hon. Saitoti said to Members of Parliament: "....Any of us associating with criminal gangs in this country in the hope that come the next election they will help you to become the next leader, senator or governor, I think you are clearly not acting in the best interest of this nation."

We cannot happy with all the above. Carelessness at work. Lack of leadership. But we have to try and look into the future and give it our best shot.  Just then imagine that that chopper is Kenya itself. Let us all be alert about what is not working well now before the next election. We must. Let us take warning from the words on working with violent people to get votes. This will take us back for many years, too many. Let us examine our country now so that we can fly it high! 

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