The Kenya Forum | Saitoti helicopter crash: responsible reporting, the need to await reports - The Kenya Forum

June 25, 2012


With reporting on the Saitoti helicopter crash jumping to conclusions, we counsel waiting and not rushing into irresponsible reporting.

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Saitoti helicopter crash: responsible reporting, the need to await reports

Saitoti helicopter crash: responsible reporting, the need to await reports

Gabriel Dolan writes a weekly comment article in the Saturday Nation, ‘Different Strokes’, and it is one that the Kenya Forum team reads with interest. He usually writes a thought- provoking piece that is logically argued.

We do not always agree with Dolan (see Kenya Forum posting, ‘Real transparency called for on Kroll Report, Mars Group in Kenya‘ regarding the Kenya Kroll report and other matters, 1 March, 2011) but that is as it should be.

Dolan’s theme this weekend was that, in his own words, ‘in the last 50 years, we have not provided any reasonable degree of safety to Kenyans’. In support of this contention he cited the carnage on our roads, buildings that collapse and much else besides. It’s worth a read (‘We must organize a national day of shame’) and the Forum endorses much of what he says.

‘Premature, misplaced and irresponsible’

However, Dolan’s article included a passing remark to the tragic helicopter crash that recently took the lives of Prof Saitoti, Orwa Ojodeh, their two bodyguards and the two pilots in charge of the flight.

“It is a national shame”, wrote Dolan, “when so many leaders are taken to an early grave through accidents that could be avoided through proper maintenance”. If Gabriel Dolan is referring to the Saitoti helicopter crash, his comment is premature, misplaced and irresponsible.

The official investigation into the crash has yet to be completed so its cause is unknown. There are several possible explanations as to what happened: the question of the aircraft’s maintenance is only one line of inquiry among many others.

On the Saitoti helicopter crash, why the rush to judgement?

The Kenya Forum has visited the crash site with a helicopter pilot and a technical expert, spoken to other pilots and to an eye witness.

We believe we know the most likely cause of the crash but have decided to refrain from comment or speculation until the official investigation has been completed and reported. We urge Gabriel Dolan and the many other reporters and commentators who have all but rushed to uninformed judgment, to be equally responsible.

Edit, since, detailed investigations have uncovered some facts that we have assessed and put together in our article ‘The Saitoti helicopter crash: what really happened‘. Click the link for more. 


Related article: ‘Website for top fraud watchdog, Mars Group, presently down’, 13 January, 2011


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