By Dorcas Sarkozy
OPEN LETTER to Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng:
Head of the Centre for Transport Studies and Chair of Positioning and Navigation Systems in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London.
Professor, I hope this letter finds you and yours in good spirits and even better health.
Bw. Ochieng, I know that you don‚Äôt know me and while I appreciate how presumptuous this open letter might be, please bear with me while I make my case for penning, or should I say scribing, it?
In a nutshell ‚Äď and in light of the popularity your name and accomplishments have taken on ‚Äď in social and traditional media:
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE UP ANY APPOINTMENT EXTENDED TO YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT OF UHURU KENYATTA.
I say this, not because I am a ‚Äúhater‚ÄĚ or lacking in patriotism ‚Äď nor do I say this because there are better candidates for decongesting the ‚ÄúShitty in the Sun‚ÄĚ i.e. ‚ÄúNairobbery‚ÄĚ.
I am not asking you to reject any job offers from Jubilee because the shithole does not need you; someone blessed with world-renowned and recognized talents and/or expertise.
Lord knows Nairobians could have used concepts from your ScienceDirect submission titled ‚ÄúRobust identification of air traffic flow patterns in Metroplex terminal areas under demand uncertainty‚ÄĚ ‚Äď co-written with your 3 peers S. Sidiropoulos, K. Han & A. Majumdar ‚Äď this past Monday when they needed to optimize pedestrian flow due to the thoughtless ban of Matatus into the CBD.
Prof., I am asking you to reject any offers of employment from Uhuru Kenyatta or anyone purporting to speak on his behalf because any such offer will not be serious.
WuodOchieng, this country ‚Äď especially the current government ‚Äď is not and has never been serious about advancing to the heights your talent is capable of helping it advance to.
As someone whose reputation precedes them, you will be working for someone whose reputation also precedes them albeit in ways diametric from yours!
You will be reporting to a coterie of thieves, murderers, suspected drug dealers and suspected crimes-against-humanity perpetrators.
You, Yotto Ochieng, will allow you seemingly stellar reputation, to be stained by the company you keep and Uhuru Kenyatta‚Äôs Jubilee is one company you do not want to be associated with ‚Äď pre- OR post-Handshake.
Is that what you want?
Do you want those of us who have read your CV, all ten (10) pages of it ‚Äď and sampled your 200+ peer-reviewed articles ‚Äď including the piece ‚ÄúA Beidou Based Multiple-GNSS Positioning Algorithm for Mission Critical Applications‚ÄĚ ‚Äď to associate you with the likes of Uhuru, Sonko or Ruto?
Yotto, let me remind you of one Barack Obama Sr., a proud, mercurial, some would say arrogant, but brilliant economist who was reduced to an angry lout by the government of Jomo ‚Äď your potential/future boss‚Äô father. Circumstances forced Senior to report to someone who was demonstrably less capable; less qualified than he was and while this isn‚Äôt always a bad thing, the circumstances and environment under which the former POTUS‚Äôs late father was expected to discharge his professional responsibilities prevented him ‚Äď from discharging his professional responsibilities ‚Äď as he was trained to do.
Ochieng, need I remind you of Tom Mboya, an organizer/planner and strategist extraordinaire ‚Äď arguably the best president this shithole never had ‚Äď a reality some within Jomo‚Äôs circle could not bear to go up against?
These two were technocrats whose intellect and talents extended beyond their ethnicity onto the global stage ‚Äď even BEFORE independence.
A child of the 60s, you JaKendu, were young when either men lost their lives ‚Äď the former due to frustration-induced drunk driving and the latter by an assassin‚Äôs bullet ‚Äď at the behest of the ‚ÄúBig Man‚ÄĚ.
Professor, you were approaching your thirties when yet another one of the country‚Äôs best and brightest was reported ‚Äúmissing‚ÄĚ then discovered atop Got Alila ‚Äď having ‚Äúcommitted suicide‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúset himself on fire‚ÄĚ. This was about the same time you were completing your MSc in Engineering, Surveying and Geodesy at the University Nottingham to be followed by a PhD ‚Äď in Space Geodesy.
Owada, in writing this letter, I learnt a new word/field of study:
Geodesy: The branch of mathematics dealing with the shape and area of the earth or large portions of it.
How would you critique Mike Sonko, someone who can barely construct a coherent thought let alone plan and implement a policy without causing mass chaos and endangering the lives of his constituents yet is smug in his comportment because he knows that the omnipresent ‚ÄúMdosi‚ÄĚ is but a phone call away?
Do you really want to work with a Chinese financier and/or construction company that takes orders from Beijing and has zero qualms about greasing palms of Mdosi-related toadies to manipulate the algorithms in your ground-breaking approach to detecting UAV Navigation Sensor Faults?
Given what Kenyans saw on Monday, Dec. 3, do you think their leaders appreciate ‚Äúconcepts and systems designed for seamless navigation‚ÄĚ of objects and humans in open or tight spaces ‚Äď one of your many accomplishments?
How do you think the folks at the Royal Academy of Engineering where you are a fellow would feel if a project bearing your name is triple its original cost ‚Äď as initially submitted in project plans bearing your imprimatur ‚Äď and/or is several years behind schedule ‚Äď without any rational/reasonable explanation/s why?
Yes, your ethics may be unimpeachable and impenetrable.
So was Christopher Chege Msando‚Äôs cybersecurity for the IEBC servers he was responsible for.
Like they say in Kano Kochogo:
‚ÄúWe awe kamano‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Let me leave it at that.
Oh, one more thing: Donge you are barely past middle age ‚Äď having been born in the mid-sixties?
Professor, you‚Äôve got another 30+ years before the current leadership of this shithole can consider you for employment!