Saitoti was a patriotic Kenyan - leaders
The late Internal Security minister George Saitoti was yesterday described as a humble leader who was a Kenyan patriot. During a requiem mass held at the Holy Fmily Basilica in Nairobi yesterday, President Kibaki led leaders in mourning Saitoti. They said desite his academic prowess, he remained humble and dedicated to public service.
"He was a man of immense intellectual capabilities and most of us were marveling at his doctorate thesis which focused on the mathematical solutions using digit zero. As a politician he was a man who choose his words carefully" "As a personal and trusted friend whom I had assigned key responsibilities, the loss of Saitoti has been a painful experience to me," said Kibaki.
The President said the best way to remember the late minister is by the country's youths to embrace sciences and especially lay emphasis on mathematics. Former Ghana president Jerry Rawlings who attended the mass described Saitoti as 'the face of Kenya adding "I am here to show solidarity with the people of Kenya."
Prime Minister Raila Odinga also described the Kajiado North MP as a humble man with deep respect for authority adding that the unresolved attempted poising of the former vice president in the 1990s left him paranoid and worried.
"I experienced this first hand during our campaigns for Narc when he often insisted on taking his two armed bodyguards with him into a chopper meant for five people. We often granted his wish as we knew what he was going through," Raila said of Saitoti's paranoid behavior.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Speaker Kenneth Marende described Saitoti as a man who stood up as a voice of reason in the polarized politics of the country and identified himself as a nationalist.
"Saitoti was the voice of reason even during the one party era of Kanu when he chaired the Kanu committee that recommended the repealing of Section 2 A of the constitution to bring multiparty. We will leave to emulate the sacrifice of the late minister," Kalonzo added.
Marende said he had had a meeting with Saitoti on the sidelines of the forum by MPs towards a peaceful elections in Serena Mombasa.
"Where we were just the two of us and God. He told me a lot about policy reforms and the forth coming elections. The other things he told me, I cannot disclose here," said Marende.
Various leader paid tribute to the minister whom they said had sacrificed a lot for the country by accepting to take junior positions in spite of being Kenya's longest serving vice president. Saitoti will be buried today at his Kitengela home, in Kajiado North constituency.