Opinion and Analysis
Team must explain cause of crash
Posted Monday, June 18 2012 at 20:49
Each time tragedy hits the country, Kenyans wonder what caused it and why.
Questions abound partly because the explanations offered are rarely satisfactory, especially when politicians are involved either as victims or as possible perpetrators.
The tragedies come in many guises: shootings, road accidents, terror attacks, orchestrated political thuggery, and plane crashes. The latest tragedy was the police helicopter crash in Ngong Hills, which killed Internal Security minister George Saitoti and assistant minister Orwa Ojode.
The helicopter crash was shocking and created anxiety. And as dignitaries talked of how they admired Saitoti and Ojode, they also raised questions. They questioned the state of Kenya’s aviation industry and the reason for the two particular men, who are responsible for Kenya’s internal security, having to die in the same copter.
Elected to parliament through rival political parties, PNU and ODM, these two developed a close working relationship that was unusual in Kenya’s overheated politics.
They read from the same script on security matters.
They were so committed to maintaining peace that they rejected political pandering to dubious whims of groups that threaten Kenya’s security. They had vowed that the 2007 electoral fiasco will not be repeated.
They were examples of how ministers should behave in running ministries.
The build up to the tragedy is a subject of future studies. Both men had attended the Mombasa conference on how to hold peaceful elections. Saitoti’s address was the best since his “there come (sic) a time” speech in 2002 at Kasarani.
In Mombasa, he passionately pleaded with politicians to put the country before their ambitions for power. Ojode was equally passionate, defending the police from various accusations.
The reason people sleep peacefully at night, he repeatedly asserted, was because police officers were not sleeping.
The two ministers had a lot to handle, including what was beyond Kenya’s borders.
Clear on how to deal with the Al-Shabaab menace, they synchronised security thinking with friendly countries.
These include the United States whose security interests, eliminating Somali based terrorists, converge with those of Kenya.
This convergence of interests was probably in the minds of the two ministers on that fateful Sunday morning as they held discussions with US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnny Carson, at the Wilson Airport.
Carson used to be Washington’s man in Nairobi.