Saitoti was No Hero

On the Sunday of 10th June 2012, the country woke up to news of a helicopter crash in a nondescript forest called Kibiku near Ngong. A dramatic start to a week that would prove very eventful and illustrative of Kenya’s compulsive selective amnesia. The television networks scrapped the Sunday gospel music shows and maintained a constant flow of information. A minister, his assistant, their bodyguards and two pilots had perished en route to a small town in rural Kenya.

Comrades in politics cancelled their engagements to turn up at the accident scene to gawk at the charred site and more specifically to face the cameras and hog the microphones. Their P.R. handlers were earning their salaries! The incident was trending on social media, generic condolences updated. State House released a glowing tribute and declared three days of national mourning with flags to fly at half-mast. A special meeting of the cabinet was scheduled pronto.  

The political class in true fashion put aside their differences and agreed to sing from the same music sheet. The flock they lead on cue provided the chorus and the country sang one collective dirge, accompanied by a plethora of adjectives mourning the departed minister, who was once the country’s vice president.

I’m told it’s unAfrican to speak ill of the dead. Whatever unAfrican means!  I wonder why none in the political class could muster the courage to call it as it is. They conveniently chose to eulogize the minister as ‘a hero’, ‘a champion of peace’ and ‘a great astute leader’. Well there is nothing about our leadership to be termed African, nothing but self-aggrandizement. African leadership entails channeling the loot to an offshore account in Jersey, fullstop.

I will not be hypocritical like the rulers of this country. I will not feign some misplaced sense of Africanness and indulge in the selective amnesia we have endured for an entire week. I am not that type of plastic African. The late minister was a corrupt man, spineless at best. A Nyayo sycophant par excellence who kept mum while deputizing for his puppetmaster in a regime that ruled kenyans with terror, driving many to desperation and abject poverty. The minister was completely mum when the Nyayo House torture chambers was filled by cries and wails of those who opposited the rotten regime. Lest we forget he watched through the ethnic schism and conflagrations of Molo, Nakuru, Kisii, Transmara, Mount Elgon, and Likoni. He was central to the plot, infact dramatis personae extraordinaire to the tragedy called Moi’s administration. Nobody should fool us calling him a hero, not even his fellow Moi orphans overflowing with embellished tributes.

His hand was deep in the cookie jar that was Goldenberg, the scandal in which our country lost billions in export of fictitious gold and diamonds not mined within our borders. In 2004, after years of court manoeuvres laced with the usual lawyer tricks – adjournments, voluminous paperwork, delayed service of pleadings – the fresh NARC government appointed a judicial commission whose report recommended the minister’s prosecution. A Judge recently vetted as a government gatekeeper in 2006 heading a three-person bench specifically expunged that part of the report.

In the poesy of the expunging Judgement, ‘Like guided missiles hit only the target; let this order have the same effect by hitting only the target paragraphs in relation to the minister’. That judgement was the guided missile that extinguished hopes of bringing the minister to justice. Justice Kenyan style. No justice for those who suffered foreclosures from defaulted mortgages. Those who queued literally slept on Haile Selassie Avenue to get an audience at the U.S. embassy and once inside presented forged title deeds, begging for economic exile visas. At twelve, I never understood why I could no longer buy bread and milk with ten shillings. The economics of exporting nonexistent gold and diamonds still confounds even today. Death has robbed us his explanation. Many wanted a raw John Wayne-type full disclosure.

I have voiced my opinion at other forums – read pubs and social media. I have been challenged that now that he is dead he is beyond human and earthly judgement. I judge not. Skeptical I am about the entire Judeo-Christo-Islamic concept of life after death and that he will account to some higher being on some so-called day of judgement. The embellished panegyrics from a dark place of hypocrisy is what I condemn. Terming the minister a hero and talking of erecting a monument in his honour! Really! My taxes to be spent erecting a shrine for such a man! Please don’t insult my sweat! There is no monument for David Munyakei, the Goldenberg whistleblower who died a miserable death. Yet we erect one for the midwife of poverty? We are that demented.

So in our typical fashion we have set up an inquiry led by a Court of Appeal judge. We love them investigative talkshops, complete with TV cameras and live feed, whose reports we conveniently shelve and swiftly move on. I know better but hope, nay pray, the inquiry shall address, apart from the cause of the crash, the issue of why a police helicopter, a government resource meant to be utilised for police work, was being used as a high-end taxi for ferrying politicians to a private harambee. I thought there is legislation against this, an ethics code prohibiting politicians from participating in harambees?

As the circus of misplaced adjectives of revisionism drifts off, as we embrace a new bout of selective amnesia, let it be known that while many will forget, some will not. I speak out because many are cowed to speak out. A man should own his deeds of commission and omissions to his grave. I am ready to be held to account for mine to the cremation pyre. There was no hero in the late minister. 

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152 thoughts on “Saitoti was No Hero

  1. …am not sure who came first you or Macharia Gaitho or maybe this POV(point of view) has been shared and/or written/plagiarised by many. if pov shared by many i guess it’s ok. if yellow reporting, uncool!

    • This piece was written on saturday 16th June as i watched the funeral. It contains opinions voiced on my f.b status update on Monday 11th June and Wednesday 13th June. To the best of my knowledge this are individual thoughts and ideas. If they are shared by someone else the better.

      • The way the minister passed away is the only sad thing, you forgot to include this but the other claims 101% correct, OJODEH was and remains to be a hero, as for Saitoti that word will be being misused.

  2. You may have a point, but when speaking publicly, try and avoid repetition, wordy descriptions, jargon and most importantly unchecked emotion. Your work should be remembered for the idea it is getting across, not for its difficulty to read in its entirety. I almost lost interest when the insults started (buffoons… really?)

    And yes, it is wrong to speak ill of the dead. We may call them criminals, we may call them murderers, we may call them rapists… if we can prove that they were in fact criminals, murderers and rapists. Calling a recently deceased man “an ass-licker”, “spineless” and a “mid-wife of poverty” is uncalled for; he still has family and friends out there: what if one of them should read this? Will you punish his family for his sins by hurling epithets about the man when his death is still fresh on their psyche? They are still in mourning, for crying out loud, they don’t need this.

    You cannot hurt a corpse whatever you do to it, even by slurring it, but you are hurting those close to him and had nothing to do with his shortcomings both as an individual and as a government official.

    Man up, please.

    • Are you for real man…you need to sit back and re-evaluate. It s even in the bible (that is if you profess Christianity) that the sins of the fathers will….so in as much as we would want to bury our heads in the sands of Unafricanism, this is the plain truth which should be voiced out to help bring our country leadership to accountability.

      • So are you suggesting that we insult the living who have suffered and continue to suffer because of his lack of leadership, pilfering and complicit involvement in various scandals that cost Kenya billions of dollars? Let’s be honest. Sweeping what he did under the rug does not make it go away. And while I sympathize with his family and friends, the truth is still the truth. We can pretend all we want but it remains the truth. He stole whether complicity or implicitly. And if he was a man of such great character, then why was he misusing government property? And while he was minister of internal security why were we insecure? If he was so about justice and reconciliation, why did he not champion the cause of the IDPs who to date are still displaced? He and others like he will get respect because we all deserve respect regardless of our station in life. HOWEVER he should not get the adoration that he got. Who are we kidding anyway?

    • @BarazaJM, so he has family out there and that’s our problem somehow? As I have stated elsewhere, it did not bother the man what legacy he was saddling his family with, but it should bother me/us? Do you genuinely think those closest to the man didn’t know how he made his wealth; didn’t watch him grovel and tape his mouth shut when it suited his personal interests to do so?

      I suppose that’s why I’m a woman, if selective reasoning and amnesia is what it takes to be a man.

      • the same family we are trying to spare here is the same one enjoying what does not rightfully belong to them….thanks man we share same opinion.

    • Well said Mr Baraza…And if at all this guy who wrote this artical felt this way ..why and why didn’t come out with this When The Late Saitoti was alive ???….and siince all i wanted u have aready said and explained …pls let NOT judge anyone and atleast spare the families feeling …cos in front God the almighty we will all cry our owns

      • Many said it when he was alive. You just didn’t read it then! @Baraza – he should have left a better legacy if he so much cared for his next of kin who will soon be bathing in his ill-gotten wealth. As an editor, my expert opinion is that the article is very well written, easy to read and keeps the readers engaged. I’m not sure why you found it difficult to read.

        It’s time for Kenyans to wake up! Stop sparing ‘feelings’! Let the truth be shouted from the mountain tops, demand accountability from your leaders and take responsibility for your actions for once!! Why do you refuse progress and silence those who suffer?

      • @ Hussein Ahmed Issa . . . dont be unrealistic people, we cannot be pretentious and look at saitotis family and flower the late thugs actions with sweet words…. when saitoti was pocketing money, his actions had an effect, oh yes a great one at that, .. did he, at the slightest bit, think of the families that he rendered helpless, the people who in future would loose their jobs and hustle tirelessly coz of his action… I agree with the writer, let a spade be called a spade, a hero be called hero and saitoti a thief which from the true sence of the word he realy was. Not in a bad way, we are not here to please saitotis family and friends just the same way he cared about nobody but himself,

  3. Why have we all been quite while we all know what the truth is?Was it to wait till a man like this comes out and talks about it?Nway like he say..i am guilty for being one of those plastic Africans and thanks for the article..Its so great that we have people who can STAND up for the truth like you have and great article more IMPORTANT the TRUTH!

  4. Awfuly so true. But like u have inffered terribly unafrican. But hey, we need guys like you who call it like they see it. But then again, ul be given the same measure of that which you give others- full to the brim…

  5. I love the article top to bottom and how well and dispassionately it was written. I just shared it too. I read Macharia Gaitho’s last week and last night, I watched a segment on XYZ which did something similar.

    Kudos for speaking it.

  6. Sad that you seek attention, &/or hope to get more followers with this xtremely one sided sensational n controversial piece. Though well written, u give the poor man no credit at all. Plus, he is DEAD! what of his family?!!!, How much better r u than him? you r worse to capitalise on a tragedy for ur gain. This is not being a proud kenyan, Its just sick and yes UNAFRICAN.

    • the point the author is making is that Saitoti was NOT a hero, whether in Life or in death, and that propping up the man to hero status in death is hypothetical and a poor reflection of the values of the nation.

    • James, this is his opinion and he is entitiled to it. It is also unafrican to do so many other things that we are very comfortable doing,yet we continue to do them on a daily basis. the late minister may be dead but the hypocracy of his send off is what has appalled our ready – and trust me, his family and those close to him knew that one day they will be dragged through the dredges of his sin.

  7. We forget so quick,ts our nature to let the past b,we fight greatness n protect the worse to an extend tht we honour thm….may the real patriote please stand,YOU JUST PROV’D THAT!…soldier on brother.

  8. true but why do we have to wait for so long to talk it out.lets just be real it doesnt help now that he is gone…………. gone with all the evils we tried to sugar coat and no justice

  9. Guys think that if you are not bound together by a sense of collective grief during death, then you are not african. Let it be known that for some of us, death of a corrupt person, just like a tyrant, does not evoke any ethos of sympathy. What was Saitoti a hero of anyway??? Nothing. But in order for people to relieve themselves of some guilt, they had to express this generic and tired accolade of calling him a hero. He was not a hero. He died a villain. End of story.

  10. We lost 2 great pilots that day….. Great patriots who will be sorely missed by the entire wilson airport family. THOSE were the heros we lost that day!!!!

  11. Unafrican means not in line with traditional African customs. You as an African are meant to respect the dead and not speak ill of them.. Yes, Saitoti may not have been the most honorable man, but the reason we respect and honour has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with the people they left behind their families and loved ones, who lost somebody who was great to them, important even. So out of respect for the families of the fallen being considerate would be nice. As you would not enjoy people bad mouthing somebody you lost, you would want the last memory of them to be a good one, take that into account. Also, since you are so for being morally correct ‘do unto others what you would like done to you’. Its one thing to talk badly about a person when they are alive and able to defend themselves! What yoy are doing is being a coward.

    • @Alex, every person writes their life story and therefore their own legacy. If it doesn’t bother the corrupt person/tyrant/reprobate what legacy they are saddling their own family with because of their misdeeds, I fail to see how that’s my problem, or that of the person dedicated to truth-telling.

      In many of these instances, one’s family knows full well that their patriarch provides for them through pilfering the coffers of a nation for eg, or selling illicit drugs, and I guess it fails to bother them. We will build a society of integrity by exposing the odious deeds of these matchstick men whether in life or in death, and part of that may very well have to do with putting them and the ’empires’ they bequeath their families in the spotlight.

  12. Pingback: "Saitoti was not a hero" claims a Kenyan blogger

  13. If we’re gonna speak ill of the dead, let’s speak ill of the living. Who didn’t eat with Moi? Is it Raila, Kibaki, Jirongo, Mudavadi, etc. Just curious, are you biased in your views?

      • Lets talk of the living,the dead have no use for the living.Spare the families of the dead.Talk of the others,Kibaki,Raila,Mudavadi and all those alive…….

      • What exactly do you mean when you say we did not speak evil of them when they were alive? As oppressed/suppressed wananchi, we do let our views known but nobody cares. Don’t get sensitive that we are mouthing off when the politician is dead. We complain about them everyday! The families of the corrupt enjoy the spoils and do not worry about us either. Why should we now care about their feelings when their sponsors die? They will know no hunger, the corrupt made sure of that. SO. Let’s stop pulling out that unAfrican card each time we call out bad behavior since these same politicians forgot that it is unAfrican to steal from their own parents/children/community!

  14. The only time… and that’s what I stand for, when I can point out the heroism of Saitoti, was being a professor…. The rest, I’ve got a whole lot of reservations.

    Nice piece, well highlighted as it avoids personal attacks.

  15. Amen! Many Kenyans have memories a goldfish would be proud of. They have forgotten, the man was a thief, it is as simple as that. His mentor, daniel moi, runs around free on a sizeable pension provided by the Kenyan Taxpayer. Most Kenyans do not pay taxes thus find it easy to spend someone else’s money.

    Many Kenyans forget that the likes of Wangari Maathai who took the UNPOPULAR (against the conniving cronies of daniel moi) stance against ripping off Kenya while saitoti & his ilk sat & shared the cake with daniel moi.

    Shame on Kenya for ‘honoring’ this crook.

    • Its not that they have memories of a goldfish or that they have forgotten. Contrary to that, they do not forget but rather prefer to burry their heads in the sand and pretend nothing has happened. We also have this strange behaviour I wrote about in this blog (http://wp.me/p2cuq5-d) where we follow like sheep. You can comment on that.

  16. True as it may be that the late minister was no hero, in his passing someone has lost a father, a husband, a brother, a friend…..so we empathize with them. We don’t rush to declare all the wrong the deceased did, after-all, they are dead and now take it with them to the grave. Calling him for all the wrongs he is purported to have been party to at this point is disrespectful to the sincere mourning kin. I though do not advocate crowning and knighting the dead false-fully. I say give credit where it is due…out of a respect. By the time a person is dead, by gones are by-gones…so to all inquests and investigations, best get it done when the guy is still alive and let them have whatever it is that they deserve.

  17. No, I don’t agree with your arguments. Saitoti was not a saint (Just like those Moi cronies) but he had grown to be the man who best represented the interests of this country (read national security). By the way, everyone at the helm of national politics today cooperated with Moi at some point!

  18. I agree… and thank you for the bravery to say this. I still am sad for his relatives who will mourn the man ‘outside of the spotlight’.. his children, grandchildren and family who saw the side of him who probably believed in integrity and love and truthfulness.

    • “The side of him that probably believed in integrity and love and truthfulness”? Was the man schizophrenic, then? He could switch this integrity truthfulness thing at will? Well then I say let those few to whom he was Dr Jekyll mourn the fallen ‘hero’, and those to whom he was Mr Hyde talk openly about the public villain and his impact on the nations fortunes.

  19. Hero indeed!!these politicians become heros when they die bt when they are squandering public funds for their own benefit they are not questioned!!i also agree 100% that he was’t a hero

    • We are watching closely to see what kind of legacy he will leave behind. I smell a rat especially with the county commissioners saga.

    • NO! NO! NO! YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY SAY KIBAKI HAS FUCKED IT MORE. IN THE PAST 10 YEARS THE COUNTRY HAS LEAPED FORWARD AND SHALL CONTINUE TO DO SO.

  20. Well said. sad that Kenyans choose selective amnesia rather than face the wrongs and trials that haunt us. We need a change in leadership and how we keep that leadership in check.

  21. i like. this thing of painting the sky white bcoz someone has died yet they were anything but nt a hero is sickening.

  22. The money at the crash site,..I have not seen anyone question where it was from. Was it fersonal funds from a public servants ATM machine, or was it misuse of ministry funds which under cover of national security are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny. We need sincere, forthright and homes leaders. Currently we have big time gamers.

  23. Wow , a real breath of fresh air !!!!
    I’ve been chocking on the bull shit for to long now .
    Finally some one who has the balls to speak the truth, thank you .
    Keep up the Good work

  24. This is sad. That this article is purpoting to sling mud at the late minister and hope it sticks. When disparaging, have the grace to adduce evidence to colloborate your points. Without them, this is merely creative writing.
    The course of justice has not been stayed over the Goldenberg saga – in fact it has not been exhausted yet. It is premature to proclaim the suspects as victors or victims.
    Even assasinating the judge’s character without delving into the legal opinion that informed that judgement is at best pedestrians.
    Though i respect your right to hold forth on your views, please respect the right of others, even the dead.

    • What rights of the dead, dear Dan? To be remembered well? Isn’t it the responsibility of the person himself to carve an honourable name for himself? Do you honestly believe people are somehow duty-bound to make liars of themselves in celebrating fallen ‘leaders’ whose contribution to the nation has been more destructive than beneficial?

      I would sincerely like to read about Saitoti’s contributions to the nation that outweigh his inclinations to improve his personal lot.

  25. Finally somebody got the courage to tell the world and this country the truth,with all due respect to the late minister,HE WAS AND HAS NEVER BEEN A HERO.

  26. THE PROF. Was and will never be a HERO!Accord him praise worth of him,what happened during KANU’S regime,the GOLDENBERG SCANDAL,MISUSE OF PUBLIC FACILITIES,VOTE RIGGING.NKT!We are better than this.

  27. excellent article i agree with you wholly , i wonder what we will say when Moi passes on we need to rid ourselves of this selective amnesia

  28. The mystry behind not speaking ill of the dead only makes sense bcoz it doesent change anything about the dead but may be just may be it helps to calm the pain of the bereaved ….we know Saitoti and Moi were one and the same thing”Tyrants of the 1st degree”we are economically ranked 3rd world country bcoz of their roles in mismanaging our economy for the entire period they ruled…i agree he wasn’t
    the hero or saint we were made to believe in his death.

  29. well I agree with this piece in full.but I just wonder where you were when he was alive,why couldn’t you speak out then? why wait till he’s dead so you can spill all his evils. speak out now about our rotten politicians when they can be held accountable.
    or did you write a piece about how saitoti was corrupt when he was alive that I don’t know about?

    • Pablo, while the man was alive, he retained the opportunity to revise his legacy. An article such as this one assesses the full measure of the man simply because he has departed, and his full measure has been attained. This is also a corrective opinion piece, written in response to the prevailing ‘fallen hero’ narrative created after the death of the man. To turn your question back on you, did you ever read an article about Saitoti the Hero whilst he lived? For that reason then, this opinion piece “Saitoti is No Hero” was not called for.

  30. You do well. Those who profess that it is ‘unAfrican’ to speaking ill of the dead exhibit selective memory and judgement by forgetting the sharing community ethnic that was the fabric of African society. Enriching oneself far beyond one’s needs at the expense of the majority that one has himself impoverished is the most unAfrican (not to mention ungodly) thing!

    You express skepticism at the Judeo-Christian worldview of judgement after death, yet God’s manifest wisdom and principles of judgement are seen in Saitoti’s life writ large. On Saturday early evening, on the eve of his death, Saitoti made rounds of inspection at Priory Place, Hurlingham, his almost complete but as yet unopened commercial block monument. He was no doubt admiring the edifice that he had built. On Sunday morning, we received news that he was dead. Now read Daniel 4 and see if you do not find the same motif in King Nebuchadnezzers humiliation:

    28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” 31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!

    Men. They live like they will never die, and then die like they had never lived. Such was Saitoti, who accumulated for himself vast wealth that in the end he could not even fully enjoy.

    • TRUE TRUE… I wont even call it the judgment of the LORD. it is simply consequences – law of gravity happening here. If we should feel sorry for his family… well they shall be mopping their tears and blowing their noses with 71 billion shillings worth of inheritance… then the other thing is that since most of the wealth that these people have is hidden in funny partnerships which even their own families dont know about, there are a whole bundle of people who have quietly taken ownership of portions of his estate because he had fronted them as owners and he as a quasi partner… hmmm lets wait for a few months and we shall hear of these thigns blowing up all over the place…. hmmmmm. love the article, and love your input too Quickdraw… .May more heads roll as they face the consequences of the path they chose to walk……
      Not badly…. but i felt a lot of nothing for these deaths. I just felt really really sorry for the body guards and the pilots….

    • Brilliantly put! Do you write professionally? You are a amazing writer and your views come across brilliantly.

  31. Some pple really were bad and it’s impossible to speak about them.The dead should b left alone,the bad memory of theit misdeeds is sufficient penalty for a token of their life..

    • I beg to differ, Dorothy, about leaving the dead alone. If we do not stop to contemplate the full measure of a person’s impact while alive (and in death is when full impact can truly be measured), then what do we learn about life in general? Not much.

      Honest assessments about Saitoti from views such as those posted on this blog are important in view of the whitewash that was being perpetrated after his death by the media and politicians alike.

  32. people should learn the true definition of the word “truth”. you have great writing skill and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion but i totally disagree with you

  33. you can not see change when whatever you are trying to change is to be implemented by the bafoons of the past regime who brought the rot.
    we will not see change if Kenyans keep giving these people power. perhaps we need a revolution to free ourselves

  34. you can not see change when whatever you are trying to change is to be implemented by the bafoons of the past regime, who are the cause of the rot.
    we will not see change if Kenyans keep giving these people power. perhaps we need a revolution to free ourselves

  35. It’s notable that describing ‘Africa’ as one place seems to be very offensive in some cases and totally acceptable in others – who knows what ‘unAfrican’ means? Well said, good article

  36. We need balanced points of view. Saitoti was a man who did both good and bad – it would be good if writers were able to put both in one piece. Demonizing/lionizing him – neither tells the whole story.

    • @Black Dahlia, obviously no man is either purely evil or purely good, but I would like to hear from you what good Saitoti did in the public sphere that we seem to have overlooked as a nation ….

  37. let the dead rest in peace, may b he was no hero bt he must have a brighter side every one does. thats your opinion it would be better if you supported it with evidence. i would call it creative writing, quite a talent there, n tru you have a right to express your opinion though

  38. This long-winded post is rabble rousing opportunism at it’s best. How many living politicians out to plunder the country to the ground have you singled out on your blog? Did you just find all this out? And assuming this post was in your Drafts folder and his death caught you off guard, post the others soon
    Blogs have given a voice to people with nothing to say.

    • LOL Lav1nd3er, if blogs have given a voice to people with nothing to say, I wonder what it says of you who has then commented on the ‘nothing’ that’s been said 🙂

  39. The man was said to have organized a well oiled campaign machine that was to cost over 2 billion shillings from his own pocket. On a salary of a Veep we have to ask questions where he got all that cash if not corruption

  40. You have thoughts, and good thoughts at that. However, I would like to point at some issues, now that you are talking of “calling it as it is when one’s alive:…First off, I think when you are writing to a wide audience, it would be wiser not to use jargon which I can tell you, a good number of us (me included) take time to analyze and understand. Second, no matter how you would like to call it, you are being judgmental. What proof do you have that Saitoti was involved? If you required him to have so much courage to speak up, you should have spoken up against him when he was alive, not now that he is gone. Third, we should have a little bit of faith in our systems. You have take a very high pedestal and seat as the judge who knows all good things and points at them, yet the speck in your eye is invisible to you. If you are patriotic, respect your country, and the systems put in place (no more than ever when we are beginning to enjoy good governance), and let bygones be bygones. Respect the investigative commission, and allow them to do their job. Are you really that righteous?? I wonder. So what if we accuse him? He is dead, and he’s gone with the truth. We cannot stick around lamenting, We have to move on. What would you do had you been in his position?? Tell us that, and now unfounded baseless accusation against a dead person. Forth, avoid acting like you are more bitter than any other Kenyan, we all are bitter that we’ve been swindled. And if our leaders (in their lack of wits) decide to erect a monument for an individual you and I are not happy with, there is absolutely nothing you can do, live with it.

    • Your resigned and defeatist attitude “So what if we accuse him”, “we have all been swindled but there is absolutely nothing we can do” “let bygones be bygones” is precisely what’s wrong with this country, and is the exact reason why the fatcats continue to plunder it at will. After all, their name in the annals of history and in our memories is secure, their families provision and high living is secure, their loot in offshore accounts of local invested locally is secure …
      Well, if you haven’t had enough of all this muck, I and many other Kenyans have!

      As for “have a little bit of faith in our systems”, systems are run by men. YOU are the system Oganzo. If you and we all suffer system failure, the system will not function. In the words of Frederick Douglas, power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.

      • Oganzo’s opinion is the epitome of ‘Kenyaness’!! This is precisely why corruption and poverty thrives, development and economic success fails. In this fertile country of ours, people actually die of hunger; in this mineral rich country of ours, the infrastructure is as poor as its people; in a country full of ‘schooled’ people, few are educated. All thanks to our failed ‘leadership’ (a term I use very loosely) which is a representative of those that continue to elect and support them while complaining and suffering behind closed doors! Wake up, stand up and be counted!

  41. If we had more straight shooters like you, Kenya would likely be in a much better place. Now, have you commented on Kibaki and his non-ball having reaction to that stupid M.P bill??

  42. the man is dead, whether you respect him and share all the disgust about him it does not raise him from the dead. accept the inequalities and injustice in Kenya and let us look for a more mature way forward instead of throwing stones. If you have no sin in you then it is ok to remind Kenyans of the pains that we have gone through. at the end of the day what matters is the foundation we build on our children. do we want them to learn to keep a record of wrongs but mature to people who can make choices that are geared to promoting peace and stability in Kenya? Let us reflect on these.

  43. I marvel at your creative writing and passion. I take great issue though with the fact that you have adopted an agenda that is all too familiar to Kenyans. The agenda of a politician.Attacking others not the issues. Yours has been a sanctimonious attitude that neither takes us forward nor is it pointing us in the right direction. Brothers and sisters, let us be alive to the fact that our problems are common and that they require our concerted efforts. Unity is not a byword but key in our quest for a better Kenya. Let us rid ourselves of the Savior’s mentality by being change agents in our spheres of influence. The leaders we have (had) we have deserved. By the way, contrary to popular belief, I am convinced the the ills we point out whether in the past or present caused by these same leaders, had we replaced them then, their replacements would have fared just as bad if not worse.
    Our calling is sure,to build this nation for us and the generations to come by utilizing the resources creatively and responsibly.
    The fact is that we are all irredeemably Kenyans and we will do ourselves some good by learning how to get along.

    • Absolute garbage. You have said nothing that can be built upon beyond some sweeping generalizations … our problems are common (what are they?), they require concerted efforts (to what end?), utilizing the resources (which ones?), creatively and responsibly (details please), learning how to get along (thugs, drug lords, pilferers of public coffers and all, eh?).

  44. Maybe you should write the same about the other leaders,and not wait for them to die before you critisize them.Saitoti is dead,whether you call him this or that,it doesnt affect him;it doesnt make him or break him.thanks for wasting 10 minutes of my time

  45. This is Kenya, and Africa as a whole. We do not know how to stand up to our leaders and tell them when they are messing up, instead we make them small gods calling them Muheshimiwa when they do not even deserve a recognition from you. The day we recognize our power as the voter and know that it is we who have the say and we can send an MP, Senator, Governor or even president packing if the do not perform, is the day we shall start experiencing change and change in its real form as it should be. Also we need to hold our leaders accountable and not let them get away with all they are right now, and we need to be more aware of our rights so that we can be able to best address our issues. Read, ask questions, engage in forums when possible, research, just don’t wait for your leaders to read and translate for you, do it yourself.

  46. I totally agree with @Rowanemslieintern: what is (un)African? How many of you preaching of your African-ness live anything close to your ancestors? Kindly spare us the bs – we are an aping society totally divorced from the (traditional) ways of it’s forefathers.

    This article in on point. When a thief/criminal is alive and enjoying his/her loot with their family, maybe they out to spare a thought about how their kids will feel when they die; otherwise, when it entails economic sabotage, affecting the lives of thousands – if not millions – of a country’s populace, sorry, but your kids ain’t the only ones with feelings!

    So should Zaireans praise Mobutu, or Nigerians Babangida, or Liberians Master Sergeant Samuel Doe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Doe)? A tyrant does not become lees so when they die. Saitoti was neither a saint nor a hero. Simple.

  47. First. Kibiku is not a forest.
    Second. It is not a matter of being African or not. It’s a worldwide theme known as respect!
    Third. What bravery is there in writing trash after the person is already dead? That’s just gossip..ati now you were waiting for him to change the err of his ways while still alive.. I shudder at the thought of the writing you’ll have to do if these ppl died at once..you’d publish a book I bet. This is no show of courage or bravery. HOW? You know the people who keep quiet while they see evil around them are just as evil..sth you accuse Saitoti of..over and over..well so are you! Hey maybe Saitoti was waiting for Moi to die as well.
    Fourth. You whine so much abt the wrongs done to you to this country by one Saitoti.. I want to know what you have done about it and I mean action..deed..not words!!
    Fifth. Unless by some miracle God has delegated some of his power to you. You are not in a position to judge….maybe Saitoti’s sins were public but you my friend have also sinned..you aren’t perfe
    Sixth. I do not have to agree with you..but I do respect that your fundamentall right.

  48. Somewhere along the way this Saitoti story lost it’s appeal! Whilst you have some valid points to put across and indeed valid pain at the role the man played . . . Your though coherent diarrhoea is not appealing. You come across as so vindictive. But then again, you did admit you are a woman, so I dismiss you as a neurotic woman. The reason why men do not take us seriously in our endeavours to be strong leaders in our societies – it begs the question, what is your personal anger towards the dead man that you chose such disparaging remarks? Never mind, I don’t wish to banter hence, rest my case and please don’t get off your high horse in your ivory tower to write me a bombshell . – ha ha but that’s silly of me . . .to expect a random break from your pattern QuickDraw!

  49. I have voiced my opinion at other forums – read pubs and social media…..enough said…i am not sure anyone in Kenya believes Saitoti was/is a hero…further i am not sure why u think u r saying anything new…or verified…..the problem is with pubs and social media is that invariably for many foolish pple are given to long and and self pontificating stories and delusions of grandeur..the dude is dead…and he’s no hero…..vomiting stuff u think u know…..is well SAD

  50. For once ive found someone who shares my sentiments! buh thats not what caught my eye…the literary structure of your thoughts and yo command of English is beautiful..
    kudos!

  51. I had written a long status update on the same topic on 19th June. Seeing your piece has encouraged me to post that update as a blog, as well.

    Thank you for having the courage to do it, I know writing this kind of thing is not easy. I agonized long before hitting “Publish”.

  52. The only reason why some people are mad at this writer is because they lack evidence to the contrary. Being dead doesn’t absolve anyone including me from the wrongs they committed when they lived! Why don’t we remember Hitler, Idi Amin and their ilk in good taste if it’s true pointing out their wrongs doesn’t raise them from the dead? Would you still cheer a rapist who goes down after messing the life of a toddler just because he’s dead? We should be retrospective in our views and not just heap praises just because someone is departed. We’ll all take the same route so what difference does it make acting good boys and girls even when evidence suggests the opposite?
    Congrats Sindannimwela, very few would have the courage to take the route you’ve taken under such circumstances.

  53. Let’s not forget the leaders of a nation, elected by its people, reflect the people. Therefore, before we point fingers at both the leaders, both dead and alive, lets look at ourselves, make a change, then we can begin criticizing and insulting others.

  54. Every one is entitled to their own opinion. Lets respect the opinion of others. You have a choice to listen, a choice to reply, a choice to ignore. In the eyes of man judgement is different. In the eyes of God judgement is the same yesterday,today and tomorrow.

  55. I share the same sentiments this is Gods way of punishment this is not the fast nor the last am sure each and every one of the corrupt leaders will hav to pay up for their crime !! Malipo ni hapa hapa duniani

  56. It may sound ok, but when shall we come out of this deep ditch we’ve found ourselves, for the non heroes have gone to rest neva to be found again. We’ve those still living, and must we wait till they are gone to talk about them.

  57. @ Baraza- that s good literature right there. jargons idioms, unless you did not go to school, the article was quite clear and the truth is the truth whether said in death or whilts alive, whatever this man- Saitoti did cannot should not be burried in the sand by virtue of Africanism, infact his ills to society are entirely against african Norms!!

  58. @caroline am actually disgusted by your comments you are the people that take us back – perhaps a look into hisory of some of the greatest Nations in the world, they accredit the changes to free flow of information criticism of writers just to mention one of them- why should we accept injustices and inequalities in kenya sample South africa what if they sat down and accepted the inequalities and injustices of Apartheid, its not only fallacious and actually an imature notion at best, this article breeds awareness and thats far much better than sitting around doing nothing- call a spade a spade a dog will be a dog whether dead or alive!!

  59. my sympathies to the families that lost their loved ones. one thing that keeps disturbing my mind is that these leaders were using government resources; joper, security, pilots on a purely private function. and while the govermnent is now using alot of the poor tax payer’s money to investigate the caurse of the crash, i hope they will also investigate the missuse of public resources on this unfortunate trip.

  60. I agree with a Couple of responses posted in this blog. The author of this blog is a coward who waits for others to die so that he can write a mouthful of crap on them. This piece could have been relevant if Saitoti was alive. We cannot get any authenticity over your allegations since the culprit is not there to defend himself. Can you please write something on Raila, Kibaki, Jirongo, Mudavadi, Ruto, Nyachae and the rest? Stop writing big words when communicating to the public, that is poor writing. I once more repeat ‘You are a coward’ and Unafrican, Unchristian or Unmuslim.

    • you seem not to gotten the point of departure and ethos of the article. Until you find those two your comment is trite. If you have a limited grasp of the English language broaden it so that you can comprehend “big words”. And yes i am unafrican, unchristian and indeed very much unmuslim.

  61. with all due respect to his family.. Mr. saitoti is no hero.. i happen to live in his constituency, if anyone has ever heard Ongata rongai being refered to as upcountry should wonder why the longest serving vice president of the country never even developed the place.. we got elec in the new millenium, thats the least bit. but in all this God isn’t asleep he will take all “midwives of poverty” one by one starting with His honourable mr. saitoti. am just waiting for the next ones.. hehe!

  62. Hello People, i don’t quite understand why the writer is being cursed by some segments of Kenyans here! it is said that ” the truth will set you free,but first it will piss you off !” Mwella has stated facts here,facts known to may Kenyans here and diaspora. Before we forgive ,we need to call the sins to be forgiven by name. I concur with with Mwella, Saitoti was no hero when he was alive, why should we crown him with such a title that he did not earn in his over 60 yrs of life? why should we crown him a hero posthumously? lets stop presence people, lets speak the truth as it is. he is a family man , yes but unless the family members equally buried their heads in the sand , they know exactly what their “bread winner ” did to the Kenyans Bread costs!

  63. How many people died in the hands of the so said hero and how many families are starving coz of corrupt deals (goldenberg). Whether dead or not the lesson has been learnt and next time our leaders need to think before calling the departed a Heros.

    • i think you guys all *well, mostly* got it wrong

      saitoti WAS a hero, not to us, but to those politicians – just imagine, he was never judged for his role in goldenburg, he never gave out details of those who were involved, he got his name expunged from a report that named negatively, he became immensly rich in the period he was in government, for the politcians if these are not qualities to be admired, what are

  64. The majority of kenyans love to react, rather than boldly spearhead revolutionary acts that could stop the greedy ruling elite. Much as I agree with your views in part, I believe if Kenya is ready for change, wenyenchi will demand it by all means. we live like that tolerant child who habours bitterness against his abusive parent but adapts to his environment…till enough becomes too much to bear.

  65. I was extremely pertubed when a close frined of mine, called me up and told me of the heli crash. She was besides herself in tears, for the minister and his assistant.
    My first thought was, who will take care of the people who were crashed in a collapsing building in mlolongo.
    My second thought was, how can a man like Saitoti die, before paying back what he owes to the Kenyans. 150, plus billions shillings, all under his watch.
    Meanwhile, our teachers were the same week taking to the streets over a paltry 7 billion, which is the bill the ministry of education hands to the finance ministry to run free primary and non boarding secondary. How many years of our childrens’ future did this ‘hero’ and his cohorts steal?
    Who is the hero? Who is the patriot?

  66. Thank you for voicing your article, I will not talk ill of our leaders (partly because of Exodus 22:28) and also it is well known and voiced above by many. But we need to realize that our leaders are a reflection who we are and sadly they in-turn shape who we become. Why have Kenyans become so cut-throat and greedy?why are we so discontent? Because we are emulating our leaders, because if I sit back while others acquire their means unjustly I will be left behind so I might as well join them since I cant beat them!
    Truth is, we put those leaders there for selfish reasons- tribalism, favors etc. Very few leaders actually make it to parliament out of merit and desire to develop Kenya. Bottom line lets pray for and educate each other on real issues and qualities to look for in a leader, it is crucial to our development.

  67. wow, i am enjoying this debate. what i see, , iis that the real truth hurts so bad that fanatic followers cant stand it, thus they have to defend their ‘god’. when are Africans going to start opening their eyes to be able to see objectively what their so called hero leaders have done for then nation as a whole. someone has to weigh the action of their so called hero. please pardon me if i ask this question: what has Saitoti done that qualified him to be a nation hero? i thought heroes were those who deliver Africa from the west and now strive to relieve their people from hunger, corruption, poverty, poor and bad governance. please who is a hero definition? if we all tackle the matter in this way, we may agree or disagree objectively with the article which is somehow making sense to me. it is well written.

  68. sad for his family yes but every time he stole our money kenyans per say was he thinking of our families…he did not care why should we?????

  69. Iam suprised some Kenyans here feel that this guy is wrong,,he is talking nothing but the truth,,fact is even if he said it when Saitoti was alive nothing could have happened he would have ended up in a police cell somewhere just like many other bold Kenyans have,,so its still not too late to act the legacy left of like the Goldberg scandal is still fresh so instead of you people whining here form a group and demand for action,,but what the writer said is all true,,he was no hero,, heroes are defined in names like Prof Wangari Maathai!! and why should we care about what the family will feel when they see this when this people don’t care about us Citizens when they do there selfish deals!! You witnessed how busy and close they were last week when they were busy amending the constitution to there favor,,WAKE up Kenyans its the high time we embraced the spirit of countries like Egypt.

    • @jambi. I empathisize with the way you feel but PEV in KE a few years back is more or less the same thing the Arab Spring is turning out be be…just worse. I say we use the ballot box in a few months to voice our opinions. Let’s vote in people who reflect what we want, and not their own wishes.

  70. Residents of Ongata Rongai,Kitengela and Ngong know this only too well.He had become a stumbling block to our development…if you investigate many of the problems facing this area you will find that he has a hand in it either through gross incompetence,political manipulation and corruption…how can an area of 150000 people(Ongata Rongai) practically a city lack a sewer system,drainage system,paved roads and all social amenities you could think of it never happens anywhere even in Africa there are cities that lack most of this things but very few lack all of them.The worst thing of all is that it was the least of his worries…i mean he didnt care at all…id challenge anyone to walk into Ongata Rongai and the first thing on your mind will be ‘who the hell is in-charge of this place’ no planning whatsoever….if this are the kind of leaders we salute then we are a doomed country indeed…i challenge the residents of this areas to vote a person with a clear agenda and at the top of his agenda should be PLANNING.Planning must be enforced in peri-urban areas

  71. An evil man will remain evil even in death,saitoti was a scheming thief! Lets call him the spade he was!

  72. That Saitoti was nobody’s hero is not in question;but you are barking up the wrong tree,dead men tell no tales.Since you seem to have so much info about how,where and when it happened,why don’t you blow the whistle on the living accomplices that you have so emotionally alluded to?
    I wonder what type of social commentator you regard yourself as and i pity those who
    are baited by your half baked “truths’.

  73. Muammar Gaddaffi wasn’t a hero too,Abraham Lincoln,JKF Kennedy .etal were heroes but had flaws so don’t criitise Saitoti coz he was a hero as me and u true nationalists as you and me,Mkenya Daima,Mkenya Imara! let the dead lie in everlasting peace.

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