Person: Saitoti, George
George Saitoti was a Kenyan mathematician and economist who did research in topology. He became a member of the Kenyan parliament and Executive Chairman of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He was killed in a suspicious helicopter crash.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The answer is that George Saitoti grew up with the name George Kinuthia Kiarie and only adopted the name Saitoti later in his life.
- We will, however, for convenience refer to him as George Saitoti throughout this biography.
- George Saitoti was at this time, therefore, was known as George Musengi.
- George Saitoti attended Oloolua Primary School, Kajiado, in the 1950s.
- When Saitoti attended, the school was not at its present site but was in Mang'u, between Thika and Gatundu.
- he was at the school but never used any of the names associated with him - George Saitoti, Kiarie wa Kinuthia, Kinuthia wa Muthengi, George Musengi - and perhaps any other name you know.
- Someone named George Saitoti flew from Nairobi to New York arriving on 8 September 1961.
- Most biographies, however, say that Saitoti adopted that name when he obtained a scholarship to go to the United States.
- This must be the George Saitoti of this biography, but in that case he must have graduated from Mang'u High School in 1961, rather than 1963 which is stated in his biographies.
- Saitoti was certainly in the United States by September 1963 to continue his education as a university undergraduate, a policy introduced by Jomo Kenyatta.
- Kimani wa Nyoike met Saitoti who had received a Wien international scholarships to study at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
- He told me that Saitoti was a mystery even in their college days.
- But Saitoti was always a stranger to us," Nyoike told me.
- Brandeis was only 13 years old by the time Saitoti arrived there.
- At Brandeis, Saitoti immersed himself into the university life and was one of the best in high jump.
- Saitoti was awarded a B.A. with First Class Honours in Mathematics from Brandeis in 1967.
- At Warwick his thesis advisor was the topologist Luke Hodgkin and Saitoti was awarded a Ph.D. in 1971 for his thesis Mod-2 K-Theory of the Second Iterated Loop Space on a Sphere.
- His name on the thesis is George Kinuthia Kiarie Saitoti.
- After the award of his Ph.D., Saitoti returned to Kenya where he was appointed as a Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Nairobi.
- Rather strangely, this paper lists Saitoti's thesis in the list of references but it does not appear to have a mention in the text of the paper.
- Its first President was Henri Hogbe Nlend from Cameroon while Saitoti was elected as Vice-President.
- Saitoti's career as a mathematician went well and he was promoted to associate professor and, in 1983, to Head of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Nairobi.
- "Saitoti rarely shared his problems," a close associate remembers.
- In 1988 Saitoti participated in the general elections and won the Kajiado North parliamentary seat.
- President Moi was returned unopposed and he appointed Saitoti as Vice-President of Kenya on 1 May 1989.
- The Kenya African National Union now had two factions, one determined not to move towards full democracy, the other, led by Saitoti, in favour of change.
- Saitoti played a very clever role in keeping both sides happy.
- George Saitoti, Governor of the Bank and Fund for Kenya, served as Chairman.
- Saitoti claimed that attempts were made on his life around the same time.
- Saitoti gave a speech on the occasion of the World Population Day celebrations on 11 July 1997.
- Nobody was elected as Vice-President to replace him and in April 1999 President Moi again made Saitoti Vice-President.
- It is clear that such arguments would not make Saitoti popular with fellow members of the government.
- After the Kenya African National Union merged with another party in 2002 and changes were made, including the introduction of four Vice-Presidents, Saitoti lost his position.
- Saitoti joined the Liberal Democratic Party which in turn joined the National Rainbow Coalition.
- Mwai Kibaki became President and Saitoti was appointed to the Ministry of Education.
- He looked surprised that Saitoti had spent the night there.
- Saitoti confirmed that he would seek election as President to succeed Kibaki.
- On Sunday 10 June 2012 a helicopter carrying Saitoti, the Assistant Minister for Internal Security, and four others crashed in the Kibiku area of the Ngong forest killing everyone on board.
- It was widely believed that Saitoti had been assassinated but no definite proof has ever been forthcoming.
- Officially, Saitoti was booked at another hotel where the rest of the Cabinet ministers were staying but he had asked one of his aides to stay in the room to give the impression that he was staying there.
- Although Kenya's professional classes may have voted for Saitoti, he was not a populist speaker and would have stood no chance against Uhuru Kenyatta for the Kikuyu vote.
- There is currently a dispute as to whether Zachary was Saitoti's son, his adopted son, or was stolen by the Saitotis.
Born 3 August 1945, Ngong, near Nairobi, Kenya. Died 10 June 2012, Kibiku forest, Ngong, near Nairobi, Kenya.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African, Origin Kenya
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive