Politics take centre stage at memorial service for missing vicitims of Lake Nakuru chopper crash

Politics took centre stage during the memorial service to mark “burial” of two missing victims of a chopper that crashed into Lake Nakuru on October 21st 2017.

The two bloggers Sam Gitau {Sam G } and John Ndirangu { Mapozi John }  were attached to the office of Nakuru Senator Susan  Kihika.

Gitau and Mapozi were among five occupants of the ill-fated helicopter that was reportedly headed to Narok where Uhuru was then scheduled to address a public rally.

The bodies of pilot Apolo Malowa and an aide to Kihika, Anthony Kipyegon, were recovered 72 hours after the tragedy.

The main chopper engine and fuselage were recovered 28 days after the crash, on the same day the body of the third victim, student Veronica Muthoni, was found trapped in it in the saline waters.

The memorial service held on Saturday on the shores of Lake Nakuru led by Father Fernandos Andati of St Joseph the Worker Church, relatives and friends of the two young men mourned youths that they termed as industrious, dedicated, humble and outspoken.

The service was attended by almost all the Nakuru political leaders, families, friends and relatives of the souls that departed on that fateful 21st day of October 2017.

Political leaders who attended the mass included Nakuru Senator  Susan Kihika-Nakuru, Nominated Samuel Mwaura, MPs Kinuthia Gachobe – Subukia, Kuria Kimani- Molo, David Gikaria- Nakuru east, Samuel Arama – Nakuru west and Liza Chelule- Nakuru women rep.

The leaders termed the helicopter crash as unfortunate and one that robbed the nation of hardworking people who went out of their way to make sure jubilee campaigns achieved the target goals.

On her part, Senator Kihika whom 3 of the victims were attached to his office said that the late two John Mapozi and Sam Gitau would even spend money from their own pockets just to ensure the assignments she gave them were complete.

“This is a sudden loss and we just pray that God will give us strength and sobriety,” she said. Although parents from both sides did not speak during the service, in their tributes that were read by close relatives, they said that they will dearly miss their sons.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s message of condolence was delivered by Statehouse digital team head Dennis Itumbi who said that both the president and his deputy William Ruto have promised to set time to meet the two families at a later date.

However, politics did not miss out during the service with political leaders in attendance hitting out at NASA over claims that an election would be held in August terming the sentiments as misplaced.

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika faulted the society for looking down on women who venture into politics.

The vocal senator stated that time had come that women should be given an opportunity to serve in any political space without tearing them down with none-issues.

“We are tired of the double standards. When it comes to women in leadership that is when we hear of many questions into the private lives of women…why …I think it is high time that we have to support women in leadership,” she said.

Similar sentiments echoed by Nakuru Woman Representative Liza Chelule who also slammed at opposition Nasa for what she termed is unnecessary noise.

The legislator said the election period was over and that leaders should now join hands to ensure development agenda.

“To our brothers in Nasa, this issue of talking too much does not help. I think the election was over and the time is now for development,” she said.

Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria who is also part of the committee that vetted the recently appointed nominees for the Cabinet reiterated that the Jubilee administration was going to deliver.

Gikaria also stated that he s optimistic that parliament will approve the nominees once the report is tabled.

“We know the election was over and the government is now committed to delivering. The nominees for the cabinet I am sure parliament will approve probably by Wednesday” said Gikaria.

On his part, Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama called for unity of the elected leaders in ensuring development for the people. With Molo MP Kuria Kimani reiterating the same calling on the elected leaders to ensure they deliver service to the people.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, married or unmarried or whom you are married to but what matters is what you will do for the people. We don’t want unproductive politics” said Kimani.

Similar sentiments echoed by Subukia MP Kinuthia Gachobe who also urged elected leaders to ensure service delivery.

The leaders said that it was a now time to get down to business and ensure that members of the public get the services they deserve.

They expressed optimism that all the recently vetted cabinet secretary nominees will be approved by the national assembly so that the government can get down to work.

Father Fernando Andatia while delivering his sermon said that it was up to everyone to stay prepared as death is a “sudden visitor”.

He said that God holds the key to everything and all that remains is to accept the will of God and proceed on with life.

The climax of the memorial service was at 3.30 pm when relatives and friends lay wreaths by the lakeshore and threw sand into the lake before a final prayer was made.

Martin Gichinga
Author: Martin Gichinga

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