Why Kenyans should not speculate on causes of the police copter crash
Posted Friday, June 15 2012 at 20:00
Sunday’s helicopter crash, which claimed the lives of six Kenyans – among them two ministers in charge of security – should not cause public speculation.
Kenyans know from joyful experience that truth is voluntarily given by those in power.
They thus have no reason to speculate about how the crash occurred when the government has been offering hourly briefings about the state of mourning into which the country has been plunged, while all the time allowing live broadcasts of funeral meetings.
Citizens must allow the police to deploy their best talents towards finding an explanation for the crash, just as they have trusted them to find satisfactory answers with regard to the Uhuru Park blast of 2010 that killed four people; or to catch the people who have been exploding grenades in churches, bars and shopping malls all of this year.
Speculation takes the mind down the meandering alleys of impossibility and improbability.
It has the capacity to turn innocent acts of God, normal thuggery and accidents into the stuff of conspiracy theories, which only demoralise the investigators.
If the Al Shabaab militia has been restrained in speculating about its involvement in the deaths of the two politicians at the heart of security, Kenyans should be a lot more patriotic.
The deaths of Security minister George Saitoti, his assistant, Orwa Ojodeh and their crew and bodyguards, should not be a subject of speculation.
Out of respect for the dead, there should be no post-mortem examination, as this might introduce strands that complicate a straightforward accidental death in the air.
Truth is not like instant coffee. It must be parboiled like rice, stewed thoroughly like the nightshade leaf (osuga) and allowed to simmer, before it is served with cream.
Perhaps it is easy for those who have never received the full accounts of the deaths of prominent Kenyans to speculate.
Everybody knows exactly what time Nyandarua MP Josiah Mwangi Kariuki died in 1975, where and how.
There is little doubt about who killed leftist politician Pio Gama Pinto, and there are no lingering questions about the killing of ministers Thomas Joseph Mboya, Ronald Ngala and CMG Argwings Kodhek.
Speculation has never changed the course of the objective truth. It never changed the fact that Foreign Affaris minister Robert Ouko shot himself in the head, broke his leg and set his body on fire.
Everybody knows that helicopter crashes hardly have survivors. With the 1,000 litres of fuel on the Eurocopter AS350 selectively slicking over the human bodies in the aircraft, it is no wonder that only the hardy banknotes shown on television could survive the heat.
It is reckless for prosecutors at the International Criminal Court to claim that Prof George Saitoti, who was until his death the Internal Security minister, was their key witness in one of the crimes against humanity case against two Kenyans.
These are the kind of statements that fuel needless speculation and rumour.
Here was a man shielded from the perils of poison by four food tasters, secured from physical violence by a full metal jacket and bodyguards, and from public odium by the love of all those who were going to elect him as their president.