I join the rest of those mourning the loss of both Prof. Saitoti and Hon. Ojode as well as the other passengers who perished in the chopper crash.
Let’s hope the government conducts a thorough and genuine investigation to determine what exactly happened if anything to assure Kenyans and the world this was nothing more than the accident we must initially assume it is.
One sure way to ensure this is, indeed, the case, is for the President and Prime Minister to quickly and without any contention agree to who should replace Saitoti and Ojode in these two critical portfolios not only in the general security of our country but, more specifically, in this even more critical year of election.
The ideal candidate for both positions must be someone who has proven in their deeds that they are not partisan hacks or sympathizer or cronies of anyone in politics today but a nationalist who must place Kenya first in the execution of their duties and responsibilities.
I know that’s asking too much of a country so consumed with the politics of succession but it must be done if we are to have a shot at avoiding even worse than we have seen before in the weeks and months to come preceding the elections or even after.
Having said that, the onus is on the president to proceed in a very thoughtful manner how these appointments are made bearing in mind sometimes a leader must transcend politics and make decisions that save a nation at the expense of his or her own political interests be they party of personal political interests.
I say so because there may be a temptation to say Saitoti came from the PNU wing of the coalition government therefore he must be replaced by another PNU but that thinking is wrong for several reasons:
First, the government belongs to the people, not parties.
While it’s the law that we have shared government, the reality is, if we are all to be intellectually honest, there are certain things that never should see partisan divide of any kind and our national security is one such thing and actually the only one we all must agree it is.
Second, we are still dealing with PEV and its effects.
Nothing can send a stronger signal that we have learned the lessons of PEV as a nation and that we are unwilling to ever go down that dark road again than appointing a minister and assistant minister for Internal Security who everyone can agree in saying we can trust them to provide leadership in internal security free of politics or bias in favor of peace and unity.
Conversely, shoving down our throats a partisan hack to head the internal security ministry would be a signal some people have not learned anything about PEV and are willing and able to lead us yet again to the dark road we must never allow ourselves to be led into.
Third, moments like this ought to put the whole nation on pause and think about what’s really important; is the pursuit of power and unlimited wealth worth it if your life can be snuffed and end in an instant like this or is it far more worthwhile to pursue that what makes your fellow Kenyans or human being for that matter live a better and more fulfilling life?
In sum, let’s use this tragic event to do that what unites us as a country not what shall further divide us or maintain status quo where maintaining power and ill-gained wealth is paramount over the welfare of our country.
Naming an all-around acceptable minister and assistant minister for Internal Security followed by a crack-down on divisive politics intended to stoke up tribal animosity and paving way for an open and transparent elections would be the best way we can mourn the departed ones.
May God help us in doing just that.