The tragic accident opened the door for an avalanche of conspiracy theories regarding who and what might have killed them and why.
None of these are proven and some stretch the imagination. Nevertheless most of them point to political rivalry.
Given that Prof Saitoti was a potential presidential candidate and he and Ojode were naturally privy to matters touching on national security that were not in the public limelight, the Government must move with speed to establish the cause of the helicopter crash that killed the two.
It must immediately publish the terms of reference for the public inquiry team to be led by Justice Kalpana Rawal so it can get to work immediately.
This is important because aspersions have already been cast on the appointment with several respected MPs saying it was improperly done because Chief Justice Willy Mutunga was not consulted, making a mockery of the doctrine of separation of powers as outlined in the Constitution.
The terms of reference for the Justice Rawal-led team must be broad enough and the team must receive the full cooperation of the police,
In the past, public inquiries have been used as cover-ups to divert the attention of the public from the truth, and in some cases, the outcome of such inquiries has been suppressed.
It does not help that in a previous matter, Justice Rawal’s efforts to assist State officials record statements with International Criminal Court investigators ended prematurely after the High Court blocked the ICC officials from interrogating the 10 provincial commissioners who served in areas that experienced post-election violence in 2008.
Despite this frustration, the judge has again been handed what could turn out to be a poisoned chalice, given the many conflicting accounts of the events of the day and the political heat from all sides.
In order for Justice Rawal and her team to dispel any doubts over their mandate, they must be seen to be fair, open and professional and resist any attempts from without to direct the inquiry in a certain direction.