In Summary

  • A year or so ago, a young lawyer and two other people also died in the line of duty. 
  • Chris’s deaths sends a chilling and distorted message to the ICT profession, that perhaps NOT doing your job is the right thing to do, since you get to stay alive.
  • He is the type of professional many progressive countries would pay an arm and a leg to retain.

As an ICT professional, Chris Msando’s death has, for the first time, brought to the fore the risks that various professions face in the line of duty.

Members of the military, the police and other security agencies do lose their lives in the line of duty.  While their deaths are not any less tragic and grievous, they sign up knowing from the word go that they could, and probably will, die in the line of duty.

Their profession has well-established traditions on how to prepare, encounter and accept death in the course of their operations.

Better still, they have support networks to assist in after-death events for the families that lose their beloved ones. Not so for the ICT profession, and definitely not so for Chris, who at the time of his death was the acting ICT director at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

He must have woken up on Friday and gone to work like any other regular Kenyan.  In normal countries, ICT, legal, medical, media amongst other professionals would wake up, go to work without expecting to die in the line of duty.

Yet journalists have lost their lives in line of duty. A year or so ago, a young lawyer also died in the line of duty. 

In both cases, it is always shocking, but never quite hits home. I could only empathise, but could not connect professionally and personally with such tragic events.

Chris’s death was different. Not just because I knew him professionally, but because he is the first ICT professional to die because of the nature of his work.

Of course, police are still investigating and so I may be accused of speculation. However from my layman's analysis, if Chris was a typical farmer or a teacher somewhere in Kitale or Kirinyaga, he would most definitely be still alive today.

So to think he died because of his job may not be too far off the mark.

His death sent shivers down my spine.  For the first time in my life, I realised that ICT professionals could die because of their work. As a member of this newly endangered profession, it is not exactly a good feeling.

I mean, how did we really get to this level, in which one gets to die because of doing his or her job?

PEOPLE WITHOUT FINGERPRINTS

Chris’s deaths sends a chilling and distorted message to the ICT profession, that perhaps NOT doing your job is the right thing to do, since you get to stay alive.

Do we want to create a public service that avoids doing its job, simply because people want to get back home alive in the evening?

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