By Patrick Beja
Coast Province leaders expressed shock at the death of Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his deputy Orwa Ojode, a day after they had attended a peace meeting in Mombasa.
Mvita MP Najib Balala, Kinango MP Gonzi Rai, Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao and Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya South Coast chairman Sheikh Hamisi Banda sent their condolences to the bereaved families.
The four said Saitoti and his assistant died at a time the nation needed them most due to security challenges.
Balala, who is former Tourism minister, said vehicles and aircrafts used by top leadership should be well maintained to ensure their safety.
“The country is big enough to invest in safety and security of its leaders. The vehicles or aircraft they use should be well serviced to ensure they are safe,” Balala said.
He noted that in recent years, the country had lost top leaders in air crashes, which raises safety concerns.
Rai said the sudden death of Saitoti and his assistant came at a time when the country is facing security threats from Al Shabaab.
“I was with Saitoti two days ago at the peace conference in Mombasa where he promised good things on security as the country prepares for elections. Their deaths are a great loss. It was like the collapse of two pillars in one family,” Rai mourned.
Ngao called for speedy investigations into the cause of the accident and publication of the report saying plane crashes involving prominent people in Government were becoming a matter of concern.
“We demand that vehicles and planes carrying our leaders be of sound condition and the pilots only to fly light aircraft when the weather allows,” he said.