Recently Kenya lost its Minister of Internal Security along with his assistant minister and other state officials in a helicopter crash in Ngong Forest.
They were on an official trip aboard a Police chopper. One would assume (erroneously) that a govt owned and operated chopper would be in tip top condition seeing as all companies stumble over themselves to satisfy govt tenders and judging from the sensitive equipment in question, no room for mediocrity would not be allowed. But alas the Kenya police air-wing is in a dilapidated condition. Most of the aircraft are old second hand soviet aircraft that were probably beyond the service life in their country of origin.
I am tired of bashing my countrymen and institutions but some cases cannot be ignored. A minister, his assistant among other high ranking officials dying on the anniversary of another crash in which prominent leaders died a couple of years ago in a botched take off is beyond a coincidence. Something is terribly wrong with our procurement departments and the engineers signing off on these equipment. Political agents cannot be ignored as concerns funds disbursement but this is not a worthwhile excuse.
This demonstrates alarger trend in the country where staff safety is confined to a notice on the wall next to a copy of an act of parliament that defines safety requirements for factories. I think it is called the Factories act. Its an ancient act and judging from what I see in the many workshops I visit in my endeavours, they are just that, signs.
Recently a contractor was sent to do some repairs in the government house I live in and I was saddened by the working conditions imposed on the workmen. No gloves, safety masks, or coveralls. the paint fumes are inhaled all day and I don’t think any amount of NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund) contributions will revert the damage to the lungs.
This I am sure is just the tip of the iceberg while we chant about impressive economic growth and a myopic future full of flowers and abundance and world class health.
I would rather not kid myself.