Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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PRACTICE OUTDATED. Given the frequent trips that President Uhuru Kenyatta has been making out of the country lately, Prof Sam Chege, writing from the US, says “it  is time to rethink the age-old protocol where high-ranking government officials turn up at the airport to bid him farewell and return to welcome him back”.

The country has wasted precious hours and resources since independence through this practice.”

In developed countries, presidents fly in and out of their countries quietly every time.”

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WHERE'S THE BEEF? For several years now, Dave Tumbula has been buying Ugandan sugar from Nakumatt Mega in Nairobi, and wonders what necessitated the signing of a special deal between President Kenyatta, and his counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, on sugar imports.

“Like the opposition leaders, I can also smell a rat. Just a few days ago, I picked up a pack of my favourite Lugazi sugar at the supermarket. Do Ugandan firms need preferential treatment to complete with our own millers who are struggling financially?”

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ISSUE PASSPORT. Three months ago, Julius Opiyo’s daughter applied for a passport and was assured by Immigration Department staff that it would be ready for collection in two weeks, in line with a service charter that was developed as part of efforts to speed up delivery of essential public services.

Now worried that her travel plans could be thrown into disarray, Julius wonders what could have gone wrong.

The tracking number is 111838599, and his contact, [email protected]

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RALLIES USELESS. The Opposition rallies to oppose the decision to allow sugar imports from Uganda will not add any value to the efforts of the struggling farmers, says Aston Atemo. The whole thing just exposes the leaders’ hypocrisy, he says.

“The  Cord chiefs held very senior positions government when the EAC and Comesa protocols were signed. Crying foul about the importation of Ugandan sugar instead of addressing our industry’s shortcomings is trying to exploit farmers’ plight for personal gain.”

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A TOTAL COCK-UP. After Paul Kimiti complained about delays in connecting electricity to his home in Gatundu, Kiambu County, despite having paid the requisite charges through the Stima Rahisi scheme, a Kenya Power representative promptly called on him and he thought the long wait would be over soon.

But nothing happened and he went to the firm’s Thika office to check on the status. He was surprised to learn that matter had been closed after all the applicants were supposedly connected.

The reference is C25852014120087 and his contact, [email protected]

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WHY THE LETTER ‘A’? Listening to KBC Radio’s popular Did You Know trivia programme recently, W. Kimariech says he was thrilled to hear that the names of all the continents – Africa, Asia, America, Australia and Europe – begin with and end with the same letter.

A man with a lot of interest in history, Kimariech simply cannot help marvelling at the uncanny coincidence and wishes historians could shed some more light on the choice of those names.

His contact is  [email protected]

Have a historical day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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NO EXCUSES: Fix the loopholes of corruption and other avenues for wastage of public funds and there will be enough money to effect the teachers’ salary increments awarded by the Industrial Court and ratified by the Supreme Court, says Ken Chirchir.

The government, he adds, should this time round not hide behind excuses such as “the wage bill escalating and Kenyans being heavily taxed”, and just pay their dues. “Teachers are our mentors and drivers of the most important form of development, education.”

His contact is [email protected]

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JUST RUBBISH: Not at all impressed with a remark by Finance Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge that Treasury “will have to turn the economy upside down” to pay the teachers, which Salaries and Remuneration Commission boss Sarah Serem also echoed, is Quince Viraj.

Says he: “What rubbish is this when hundreds of millions are being wasted on retreats and allowances paid to senior officials, and pilferage in ministries and counties to the tune of Sh67 billion, which has not been accounted for?”

His contact is [email protected]

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CAST NET WIDE: As the government grapples with how to raise the extra Sh17 billion required to pay teachers’ salaries, Samuel Wangatia says he strongly believes that the tax net has not been cast wide enough to bring in the revenue the government requires to meet its obligations.

“There are many people, especially in private business, who do not pay tax. The taxman needs to reach these people through lifestyle audits, especially spending on luxuries.”

His contact is [email protected]

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NOT BEAUTIFUL: Who is authorising the putting up of the huge billboards that have sprung up lately all over Nairobi, including in residential areas?

Asks Gibran Chaudhry. Beautiful mature trees, he moans, are being felled with reckless abandon and replaced “with these eyesores”, and he suspects this could be happening because some people are lining their pockets at the expense of the city’s beauty.

“In the developed countries, such huge billboards are banned,” Gibran claims.

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DRIVERS' HELL: The roadblocks are back along the Nairobi-Eldoret highway, with numerous traffic officers appearing only keen on stopping public service vehicles, especially matatus, says Jim Webo who, on August 22, counted nearly 10 manned by armed policemen along the 90km stretch to Naivasha.

Particularly curious, he adds, was the presence of high-ranking officers “who did not seem to be very keen on preventing some of their wayward juniors from extorting bribes from motorists”.

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ARREST HOOLIGANS: Any person damaging other people’s property for whatever reason must be promptly arrested and charged, says Petero Chepkwony, disgusted with the antics of soccer hooligans.

Driving to Nairobi’s city centre on Monday morning, following Sunday’s so-called Mashemeji Derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, Petero was appalled at the damage done “on the trees and the Kidero grass” on Uhuru Highway by the rowdy soccer fanatics.

His contact is [email protected]

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PROTECT STUDENTS: Education officials have become like barking dogs that never bite, remarks Margaret Wanjiru, disappointed about the failure to enforce the ban on holiday tuition.

She is thus accusing Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi of not protecting the young learners being denied a chance to play and generally have fun during the vacation.

One school in Kirinyaga, she reports, closed for only a week.

For more details, her contact is [email protected]

Have a rest day, won’t you!

PO Box 49010, Nairobi 00100
[email protected]

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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DIRTY TOWNS. Kenya hosts the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters at Gigiri, Nairobi, and yet it has some of the dirtiest towns in the world, claims Bernard Lihema.

Most of the towns, he adds, are “dusty or muddy all the time, with polythene paper and other waste strewn all over”.

To complete the sorry state of squalor, he adds, the towns have no sidewalks, and potholes galore. Shame on all polluters and managers of the urban centres.”

His contact is [email protected]

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DUSTY TOWN. Thika residents are literally living in a dusty hell with the reconstruction of the main road to the town, and particularly in the past two weeks, moans Bimal Sobhagchand Shah.

The worst stretch, he adds, is opposite Tuskys Supermarket. The homes on the adjacent Mombasa Road, he adds, are assailed by dust from early and have no electricity from 7am until late.

“Our househelps must sweep our houses every two hours and yet it will take six months to do the job.”

His contact is [email protected]

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LOST LETTERS. For the last couple of months, Nairobi resident Jane Mueni could just have lost out on some opportunities or potentially lucrative deals simply because her letters have not been reaching her.

An administrator with Waiyaki Associates wishes to let Jane, a resident of Parklands Road, know that they have been receiving her letters and wish to hand them over to her.

All Jane needs to do is call Tel 0733790235 or drop the administrator a line at [email protected] and once the contact is made they can agree on what to do.

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WHAT'S IN A NAME? Muratina is a tree and not beer, explains Janet Koi, disagreeing with Billy Mito’s criticism of the decision to have a Nairobi road carry that name.

In Kikuyu, she adds, the word for beer is njohi. “Muratina is the fruit from the tree, though it is used to ferment beer. The road, I suspect, was named after the tree that could have been found along it, and not beer. If we must ban names that have something to do with alcohol, then we should also scrap male names Wanjohi (drunk) and Muriu (man of alcohol.)”

Her contact is [email protected]

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WORLD BEATERS. Fame in soccer may have eluded the country for so long, but its world-beating athletes continue to hold the national flag aloft, remarks Alnashir Walji, thrilled with the Kenya exploits at the just-ended World Athletics Championships in Beijing.

“The medal tally is impressive, with our formidable opponents, the Ethiopians and others outwitted, especially with a clean sweep in the 3,000 metres steeplechase. The media, too, have not let us down, and what is more, the tourism industry will get a marketing boost. Hail the sports aces!”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a spectacular day, won’t you!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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ALL WE WANT IS SUGAR. As “the informative, enriching, controversial and captivating” debate rages between Jubilee and Cord leaders in their political wars on dealers and barons in the ailing sugar industry, Derek Liech says, sorely missing from the picture is what an ordinary Kenyan consumer really wants.

He adds: “At the end of the day, after all the hullabaloo, what the consumers really want is the availability in the market of affordable quality sugar.”

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SHOW THEM YOUR PHONE. There is a way around the alleged harassment of passengers by Kenya Airports Authority staff who demand paper tickets at the airport after one has checked in online, says Chris Olgiati.

“All you have to do is show them on your phone the airline ticket emailed to you. I do this and I have never had a problem. If you don’t have a phone, yes, you must print out your ticket, but most airline passengers do have phones. They can’t just let in anybody.”

His contact is [email protected]

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NO WATER IN THE TAPS. Calling Nairobi Water Company is Peter Oduor, a resident of Unique Estate, off Airport North Road, Embakasi. He says the last time he and his neighbours saw water come out of their taps was in early 2012.

They have been to the water firm’s headquarters on Kampala Road in Industrial Area and at the Kayole office in the Eastlands, to no avail.

They have also reached out to the CEO, the governor and senator, but no help has been forthcoming.

His contact is [email protected]

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THIS IS TOTAL WASTE. The destruction by security personnel of two ships intercepted in Kenyan waters carrying hauls of drugs is a source of concern for Benjamin Ashuma, who, though he supports the war on narcotics, disagrees with the government’s approach.

Like others before him, he poses: “Why destroy the vessel instead of just burning the narcotics? Why not hand over the ship to the Navy to be used to patrol the Indian Ocean in pursuit of other drug traffickers?”

His contact is [email protected]

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MASTER-PLANS FOR WHAT? The obsession with spending billions of shillings on master-plans to solve national problems has blunted Kenyans’ creativity in seeking workable solutions, remarks Sylvester Butoyi.

Instead of just throwing money at the traffic congestion problem in Nairobi, Sylvester would like to see police educated afresh on traffic management and coordination, especially at the intersections of the major roads.

More competent traffic officers on motorbikes, he proposes, should also be deployed on the roads.

His contact is [email protected]

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DO YOU KNOW YOUR DORMANS? How much do most people know about the origins of the organisations they work for, to be able to articulate their visions and aspirations?

Mohammed Fazal Hussein was recently at Dorman’s Cafe in Nairobi and randomly chose to find out from one of the workers about its history.

Says he: “To my utter astonishment, she did not know. She said she would ask the manager, from whom no feedback came. It’s quite amazing that some company staff have no idea of its roots.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have an informed day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

DEMAND TOO HIGH. There has been a significant increase in demand for motor vehicle registration plates “due to a notable rise in vehicle imports”, National Transport and Safety Authority communications official Dominic M. Kabiru explains, in response to complaint about lack of plates.

“As NTSA, we have engaged the suppliers with a view to meeting the rising demand. I am glad to inform A. Nzimbi that the backlog is now being addressed. We, indeed, regret the inconvenience caused to our customers.”

For further details, his contact is [email protected]

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WATER THIS ROAD. The contractor building Nairobi’s Southern Bypass should be prevailed upon to regularly water the diversions on the section between Mombasa and Lang’ata roads to clear the dust that has become a huge nuisance to motorists and their passengers, urges Paul Omondi.

The dust, he adds, has been aggravated by the current dry spell and increased traffic.

“The dust is a menace all day and night,” remarks Paul, whose contact is [email protected]

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GOOD NEWS FOR THIKA, BUT... Traffic congestion will soon cease to be a problem in Thika Town, says Joe Ngige Mungai, citing the ongoing construction of a dual carriageway. However, he moans that the town has become too dusty because of the rugged diversions, posing a health hazard to the residents.

He poses: “Who between the county government and the contractor should maintain the diversions by levelling and controlling the dust?”

His contact is [email protected]

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FRUSTRATED AT THE MARA. On Wednesday, August 19, Lucy Kariuki, who visited the Maasai Mara Game Reserve for the third time, says “it is always a great experience to watch the wildebeest migration”.

However, she found three things frustrating. “One, the road is very rough and as many visitors coming here this season, one would expect it to be given priority. Two, the shopping centre near the reserve is littered with plastic. This is a shame, to say the least. Third, we strayed into a private park and askaris demanded a Sh2,000 bribe.”

Her contact is [email protected]

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CON MAN ON THE PROWL. There is a con man operating on Kimathi Street in Nairobi, who has been fleecing people looking for offices, reports Peter Obama.

The man, he adds, places adverts in newspapers and takes would-be tenants to some buildings to show them ‘vacant’ offices and after being paid some deposit, simply vanishes. Peter lost Sh320,000 deposit for two months.

“I know six other people who have been similarly ripped off,” says Peter, declaring that he is no relation to the US President.

His contact is [email protected]

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PARENTS NEED HELP. Parents are not entirely to blame for the indiscipline that is rampant among children, says Winnie Mwea. According to her, “it is easy to criticise others when your child is not among them”.

She believes that the whole community has a role in bringing up well-rounded children.

“Parenting comes in different forms, which may or may not be effective. Needless to say, children themselves are all different in their behaviour.”

Her contact is [email protected]

Have a blameless day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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KPA COULD DO BETTER. With the steady rise in demand for air transport, the Kenya Ports Authority needs to open up all corners of the country to provide the service, says Sam Wangatia.

It should develop infrastructure in Moyale, Mandera, and Isebania and expand the existing airports at Malindi and Lamu to accommodate bigger and more planes.

Ethiopian Airlines, he adds, earns a lot of revenue from domestic flights and there is an airport in every corner of the country.

“KQ can also make more money this way and emerge from the pit it is now in.”

His contact is [email protected]

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SURPRISE US, KENYA POWER. Since the Rural Electrification Authority installed a transformer at Lukhuna Primary School in Bungoma County 15 months ago fuelling plenty of excitement among the locals, it has never worked, reports Peter Wekesa, convinced that it could have malfunctioned that very day.

He wishes to know for how long the people have to wait for electricity as they continue paying the standing charge without getting any service.

He is waiting for an answer and a pleasant surprise from the authority.

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FRUSTRATED. Nearly a year since he marked the 2014 KCSE examinations, Jared Ochieng is yet to be paid his dues and his patience is about to snap.

Admitting that he initially made a mistake by giving the wrong bank account number, Jared corrected this in a letter to the exam council, and was assured the money would be in his account in two to three weeks.

On June 10, he received a text message indicating that he had been paid, but to date, nothing.

His contact is [email protected]

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VEHICLES HELD UP. A frustrated A. Nzimbi would like the National Transport and Safety Authority or the Kenya Revenue Authority to come clean on the issue of lack of motor vehicle number plates that is holding up the release of imported cars at Mombasa Port. 

Nzimbi, who has imported a car, paid all the requisite fees and charges last week, only to learn from the staff that his vehicle could not be released, as it must have a logbook before leaving the port.

“The motor vehicle holding area is full because none is being released.”

His contact is [email protected]

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MORE RESPECT, PLEASE. A regular flier on domestic routes, DA is concerned about the lack of harmony in the operations of the staff of the Kenya Airports Authority and their counterparts in the airlines.

“Although bookings are now done electronically, and therefore, there is no need to carry paper, KAA staff still insist on being shown the tickets. KAA, he pleads, should dissuade its employees from harassing passengers over something that is no longer necessary and educate them to treat their customers with respect.

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PARENTS NEGLIGENT. Many parents, university don X. N. Iraki claims, “want to look cool and modern by not punishing their kids” and are largely to blame for the runaway indiscipline in schools.

“Many are now being terrorised by the same children. With the law against them, teachers watch helplessly as the next generation gets lost. Controlled punishment has killed no one. Bring back corporal punishment. Bringing up children and marriage are better if old-fashioned. Prove me wrong.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a disciplined day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
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TELL KENYANS THE TRUTH: Following the heated exchanges on sugar between Deputy President William Ruto and Cord leader Raila Odinga, Odidi Owiti says politics aside; the government has since the days of Kanu been a major stakeholder, owning some sugar companies.

This can only mean that its representatives sat in the board meetings and “must have been privy to the information on the plunder and mismanagement that led to the collapse of some of the firms”. He poses: “Someone must bite the bullet and tell apolitical Kenyans the real truth!”

His contact is [email protected]

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PAY FOR YOUR SUGAR: Also reacting to the raging sugar debate, Wambua Musembi claims the “real issues have been clouded and we might never know the real story, and this is unfair to the farmers”, who are being denied the right to enjoy the fruit of their hard labour. Wambua is challenging whoever owes the ailing sugar firms money to quickly pay up “instead of simply politicking about these issues”.

He is particularly disappointed with the MPs from western Kenyan who snubbed an invitation to discuss the sugar industry woes with the President. “This is a sign of disrespect.”

His contact is [email protected]

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JUST GROW CASSAVA: The debate on the sugar industry’s problems is getting needlessly boring, remarks Kang’ethe Kimani, adding: “The simple logic is that if you cannot produce something efficiently and cost effectively, it should be left to those who can so that you can concentrate on what you do best.”

The people in western Kenya’s sugar belt, he advises, should consider growing traditional food crops, “which can fetch high returns because of the growing health-conscious middle class”.

His contact is [email protected]

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DEAR NAIROBI WATER COMPANY: There is some urgent work for the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company to do at Githurai for its suffering customers! Since he moved into the neighbourhood two years ago, Fred Gichangi says he has never seen a drop of water come out of his tap.

And benefiting from this sorry state of dry taps, he adds, are water vendors, who sell a 20-litre jerrican of water at Sh30, which majority of the poor residents can hardly afford. He is, therefore, pained to see water flowing to waste from broken pipes in neighbouring residential areas.

His contact is [email protected]

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ACT NOW KIDERO: Governor Evans Kidero issued a stern warning to the management of a notorious nightclub on Lang’ata Road to clean up its act or face the music, recalls resident DA, who is surprised to note that the racket still continues unabated.

“Not only do the patrons drink until early in the morning from Thursday to Monday, but some do it right on the road in their carelessly parked vehicles, causing snarl-ups and inconveniencing other road users. Governor Kidero should just close down this modern Sodom and Gomorrah,” he pleads.

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WAMALWA'S SPIRIT: The family of the late Vice-President Michael Kijana Wamalwa has got Ruth Gituma reflecting on the “wonders of the diverse cultures of Kenyan communities”, with its announcement a few days ago that it has “finally brought his spirit back home from London”.

The relatives are marking at his Kitale home the anniversary of his death in a hospital in the United Kingdom some 12 years ago. However, a curious Ruth says she has yet to comprehend what the ritual of bringing back one’s spirit entails.

Her contact is [email protected]

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BRING KIBATI BACK: The secretariat of Kenya’s development blueprint, Vision 2030, has remained a pale shadow of itself since the exit of its flamboyant director-general Mugo Kibati, remarks Thomas Yebei.

Its activities, he adds, “seem to have ground to a halt, as we no longer get updates on progress being made”. Today, he claims, there are no monthly updates to give the public information on the efforts being made to take the country to the upper middle class status.

“Shouldn’t the authorities bring Kibati back?” asks Thomas, whose contact is [email protected]

Have a vibrant day, won’t you!

PO Box 49010, Nairobi 00100
[email protected]

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

NEWS VALUES. The obsession with bad news is overshadowing all the good things that the government is doing, says David Ambala.

“Every time Kenyans switch on their radios and TVs, all they see is the negative news. The progress made by the counties in building schools, hospitals, dams and markets, are ignored.”

He is disappointed that nothing has been reported on the dykes in Budalang’i that ended the perennial flooding.

“All we are told is how alcohol is destroying youth and families, rapists on the rampage, rotten churches and drugs.”

His contact is [email protected]

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SUGAR WOES. The hullabaloo about sugar imports from Uganda is nothing but a storm in a tea cup, remarks Kanyi Gioko.

He poses: “How does sugar which is not yet in your cup elicit so much emotion when your money is still in your pocket? You, the buyer has the final decision on the matter. Tell your shilling precisely where to go. The last time I checked nobody was distributing free sugar from door to door at gunpoint.”

His contact is [email protected]

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TRADE TIES. Just back from a visit to eastern Uganda, Dave Tumbula reports that the people, mostly members of the Samia community, which straddle the border, are dying to step up trade ties between the two countries.

“The peace being enjoyed in a region that suffered the worst of dictator Idi Amin’s repression in the 1970s, is a boon to the people.”

Dave wishes to know from the leaders on both sides when the much-talked about unity bridge at Mulwanda in Samia District will be built to ease travel and business. “Please speed it up,” he urges.

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BAD ROAD. For the past 15 years, Mary Mwenda says she has been crying out for the repair of the Waiyaki Way Slip Road at Westlands, Nairobi, but the city county government and its predecessor, the city council, have hardly paid any attention to her complaints.

“The road now has humongous potholes, scary patch-ups, unmarked bumps, and no lighting at all.” Lately, she moans, one family has been discharging its waste water onto the road, damaging it further.

For the details, her contact is [email protected]

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SMELLY FACTORY. The residents of Elgon Estate in the lakeside town of Kisumu, on the famous Kondele-Kibus Road, have had to contend with a smelly 24-hour assault by a company that smelts iron, emitting pungent smell, reports Zachary Okello.

Mostly at night, when the factory is in full production, the neighbourhood is engulfed in the stench that Zachary suspects poses a grave health hazard, and he is disappointed that Nema does not seem to take any action against the firm.

“Who will come to our rescue?” asks Zachary, whose contact is [email protected] 

Have a caring day, won’t you!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WHY WOMEN STARE AT THEIR SISTERS. Have you ever wondered why women tend to look at fellow women and not at men? poses Churchill Amatha, adding that he notices this when walking around with a woman and she suddenly loses concentration.

He realises she has been staring at a female passer-by from head to toe. “I thought it makes more sense to look at the opposite sex. Who can explain what motivates this? Or is it just a habit that comes about unknowingly?”

His contact is [email protected]

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MIFFED BY SAFARICOM. Safaricom subscriber Patrick Mbataru says the mobile phone network coverage around Muigai-Inn/Turacco/Kenyatta Road, on Nairobi’s northern outskirts is so poor that “one has to run around, kneel, jump, or climb onto anything to find it”.

He adds: “I am writing this at 5am and the network is on and off. Safaricom often blames ‘structures and terrain’ but the network is poor even on rooftops. What is the point of trumpeting 4G technology while even 1G does not work in some places around Nairobi?”

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IT'S ALL A FACADE. All the praise for the Machakos Level 5 Hospital following the installation of hired equipment by the National Government does not tell the whole story, says Jacob Kyallo.

The reality dawns on a patient after passing through the gate, notes Kyallo, adding: “You will queue the whole day to get that rare chance to be seen by an overworked doctor. As if that is not bad enough, you will be told the labs are not functioning. After that, you will get a prescription to buy drugs from a chemist to administer at home.”

His contact is [email protected]

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WHY SUPPORT KQ: There are compelling reasons why Kenya Airways deserves support, says David Musyoka.

Says he: “If KQ does well, we all benefit. We are among the few countries with national carriers. Being our flag-carrier, it lifts up our sovereignty and stirs a sense of national pride and patriotism. If KQ does well, it gives a good impression to all those flying in it. More importantly, KQ has employed 4,000 staff, and the airline’s success has a ripple effect on related sectors, including the Kenya Airports Authority.”

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DANGER LOOMS. The situation at the open-air market at Mulot trading centre in Bomet County is a disaster waiting to happen, warns David Motari, alarmed by the danger posed to the traders.

The market, he adds, is located alongside the busy Narok-Kaplong highway, with some traders displaying their wares on the edge of the road oblivious of the danger that lurks.

A driver could easily lose control and plough into the crowd. The market should be relocated to a safer place to avert disaster.

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WHAT'S IN A NAME? Muratina as the name of the road connecting Nairobi’s Pumwani Hospital to Mlango Kubwa, is simply ridiculous, remarks Billy Mito. Billy, the communication executive at Greater Life Concern Ministry, a church-run free alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre located on the road, says directing clients to the centre usually elicits humour.

“Since the road is now under construction a name change is needed, as newly-borns and teetotalers tread this path to their new lives.”

Muratina is a traditional Kikuyu beer. His contact is [email protected]

Have a non-alcoholic day, won’t you?

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

RESTORE THE CANE. The call by the church to lift the ban on caning in schools is welcome as a measure to instil discipline into students, says Nathaniel Gaitho.

However, squarely to blame too are parents, “especially absent fathers, drunken mothers” and social media.

“The teachers should not be blamed for the students’ bad behaviour.”

But the Ministry of Education, he appeals, should ensure strict monitoring of the use of corporal punishment to discourage excesses that result in serious injuries.

His contact [email protected]

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MYSTIFIED BY BILL. Just a day after he paid his electricity bill of Sh518, Peter Mburu says he was surprised to receive yet another one, requiring him to pay a tidy Sh1,474.90, indicating that his consumption was 91KWh.

He was asked to clear the bill by August 22. The earlier consumption, he adds, was 47KWh, and he, therefore, cannot understand the disparity, as the duration covered is the same, and yet he has not acquired new electrical appliances. He is not convinced the meters are accurate.

His meter number is 2483037-01 and his contact, [email protected]

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SHORTCHANGED BY DSTV.  DStv’s decision to switch the live coverage of English Premier League matches  to only the premium package is a slap in the face of many loyal customers, remarks David Viers, upset that one has to cough up $100 a month to enjoy the football.

A long-time subscriber, David argues that even the Compact Plus package that now doesn’t have football matches “does not come cheap”.

He hopes  the decision will be revised, warning that he will jump ship should a competitor be licensed.

His contact is [email protected]

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REPAIR DOONHOLM ROADS. The roads in the Eastlands suburb of Doonholm, Nairobi, are in a pathetic state, with some sections now looking like freshly-dug gardens, says Ben Maina.

He is upset that the city government has forced the residents to suffer.

The roads, he adds, have numerous potholes that are the cause of the seemingly never-ending traffic jams and carjackings almost on a daily basis.

“How about some patch-up to ease our suffering, Governor Kidero?”

His contact is [email protected]

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ATTITUDE DEFEATIST. Corruption should never become a way of life in Kenya, says Gediel Kirimi, rejecting the defeatist attitude of someone who suggested that graft drives the economy and should be embraced if it cannot be fixed.

Gediel is pleased that the National Council of Churches of Kenya has joined the anti-corruption campaign.

With the Auditor-General reporting billions lost to corruption, he adds, Kenyans should be encouraged to note that one of the first things new Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari has done is to set up a solid anti-corruption team.

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IGNORE THEM, KAGAME. Though Rwanda owes its stability and rise from the 1994 genocide to President Paul Kagame, he must respect one of the key pillars of his country’s constitution, which introduced a maximum of two seven-year terms, says Taabu Tele.

The success of the EAcCas a trading bloc, he adds, will not be possible if the member countries fail to forge unity under the rule of law and respect their constitutions.

Taabu hopes President Kagame will disassociate himself from the clamour to change the constitution.

Have a constitutional day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

WATCH OUT. Even as he welcomes the growing bilateral ties between Kenya and Uganda, Ken Chirchir says he is suspicious about President Yoweri Museveni’s real intentions in cementing his ties with Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration.

“There is more to this than meets the eye, considering Museveni’s character and past history in his relations with neighbouring countries. His dictatorial tendency in intimidating his rivals is not something Kenya should copy. The man must be having some selfish interests!”

His contact is [email protected]

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RULING PARTY. The biggest surprise during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official visit to Uganda was hearing a military brass band in Kampala effortlessly playing the Kanu Yajenga Nchi tune before he addressed their Parliament, remarks David Motari.

This, he adds, reminded him of the vow by former President Daniel Moi that the independence party would rule for 100 years.

He poses: “Could our neighbours be knowing something we don’t?”

His contact is [email protected]

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DRY TAPS. The residents of the civil servants’ estate at Kariobangi South in Nairobi’s Eastlands have not had any water in their taps for the past one month, moans Janet Nzilani.

Since the taps dried up, she adds, they have reported to Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company several times, but they have had no respite and continue to rely on vendors for supply, whose safety they cannot vouch for.

“Water is not only a basic necessity to all of us, but we pay for it and deserve to get supplied.”

Her contact is [email protected]

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TRAFFIC FLOW. Traffic police officers are to blame for the perennial traffic jams on Mombasa Road, Nairobi, says Bernard Muriuki, alleging a conspiracy.

Bernard claims to have been reliably informed that officers from a nearby station have been instructed to let traffic from Aerodrome Road flow “so that the big people living in Lang’ata and Karen can have a smooth ride at the expense of commuters on Mombasa Road, including those from the JKIA”.

His contact is [email protected]

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SOCIAL ROT. The rot in social institutions, including the self-styled churches and schools, is a reflection of a serious crisis, says Michael Mburu.

The churches, he adds, are being run like shady businesses, as unqualified people operate some private schools, including kindergartens, while the quality assurance bodies just watch or wallow in corruption.

“Our future generations are at a grave risk. The government needs to do something as where there is smoke there is a fire.”

His contact is [email protected]

Have a qualified day, won’t you!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

MASTER PLAYER. The contractor building Nairobi’s Southern Bypass must be a master game-player, remarks DA, adding: “When motorists complained about the slow construction work on the stretch between Lang’ata Estate and the Carnivore Restaurant junction, he got down to work and everyone thought the project would finally be completed.”

But the work has slowed down and the snarl-ups are back.

“Can the authorities ensure it is completed soon?” asks DA, hoping the stalemate with activists over the Carnivore-Mombasa Road stretch will also be broken.

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KQ ON A DEATH-WISH. With its high ticket prices on most routes, Kenya Airways “appears determined to go under by all means”, remarks Carey Yiembe.

“As national brands, many people identify more with Safaricom than with KQ because the former’s impact is felt more on the ground.” 

A major regional competitor, Ethiopian Airlines, Carey adds, charges more pocket-friendly prices and “its services are better”.

According to him, what Kenya Airways needs most is not a bailout but proper restructuring.

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GRAFT A WAY OF LIFE. Corruption, which is defined as reaping where one has not sown, David Motari says, “is one of the most discussed topics in Kenya, and for a good reason: It has become a way of life”.

He adds: “Like it or not, it drives the economy. Without it, life could be harder, most PSVs would stall, files at the Lands ministry would move at a snail’s pace, our jails would be full and government activities would come to a standstill. If we can’t fix this, we should just embrace it.”

His contact is [email protected]

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KNUT SELFISH. The threat by the Kenya National Union of Teachers to call a strike if the Teachers Service Commission does not withdraw a case it has filed against a pay increase granted recently by the Industrial Court smacks of utter selfishness, remarks Paul Muciri.

“Can somebody tell the teachers to be a bit fair and give the government a break? This is a country governed by the rule of law, and the TSC has every right to challenge the pay rise granted by the court?”

His contact is [email protected]

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LIGHT THE WAY, KENYA POWER. Charity, as the adage goes, begins at home, and Gitonga Githenduh hopes Kenya Power, which is in the business of providing light and denying devious characters cover under which to carry out their anti-social activities, will attend to a need just outside one of its key outlets in downtown Nairobi.

Gitonga is appealing to the firm to light up a corridor on Aga Khan Walk right outside Electricity House to set an example for other service providers by making a contribution to society.

His contact is [email protected]

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VOTE WITH YOUR CASH. DStv’s decision to move the English Premier League’s live football matches to a more expensive package has once again brought out the peculiar Kenyan habit of whining too much even when it is within their power to make a decision, says Chris Rabeng.

“I did not mourn, but next month, I will cancel the monthly subscription and save about Sh6,000 a month, which I have been paying for the Compact Plus package.” His contact is [email protected]

Have a decisive day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Cutting Edge

By THE WATCHMAN
More by this Author

CITY STINKING. Nairobi is becoming one large slum while Governor Evans Kidero and company try to blame everyone else but themselves for their poor performance, remarks Nyokabi Kangoro.

“There is no order, illegal car wash bays and food sellers are almost on every road and at every matatu terminus. There are heaps of uncollected garbage in the residential estates and markets and no dustbins. The waste removed from drains is left uncollected. Wake up, Governor and smell the stench in your county! You must do better.”

Her contact is [email protected]

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HEAR US, SAFARICOM. For two years now, Purity Mwangi and her neighbours have been appealing in vain to Safaricom to improve its network coverage of their neighbourhood in Kahawa Sukari, near Kenyatta University, on Nairobi’s northwestern outskirts.

Purity is particularly following up on a pledge the mobile phone service provider made in 2013, in response to a complaint to Watchman.

“In fact, their signal has become worse, but I will not tire asking.”

Her contact is [email protected]

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HELP US, DR CHUMO. Praising Kenya Power CEO Ben Chumo for doing a good job by giving quick feedback to customers whenever they have problems, David Jasondu hopes that he will go to the rescue of the people of Kisumu County by sorting out the frequent power outages in Ndori Village of Upper Nyakach.

“For the past three months, the power supply has been quite erratic and residents are almost giving up as their complaints never yield results. Dr Chumo, please, unleash the magic so we can have constant power supply,” he pleads.

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WE NEED ANSWERS. The plea by one reader to critics to leave the mega loss-making Kenya Airways alone simply does not make sense because, apart from the individual shareholders, the government holds a stake in the airline on behalf of taxpayers, says Churchill Amatha.

He adds: “We have every right to question the performance of the national carrier. And, of course, the same government is now being asked to bail out the airline. We need those answers and pretty fast.”

His contact is [email protected]

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MYSTERIOUS BLACK BOOKS. Traffic police on duty on the roads, Ethans Githinji notes, always carry small black notebooks in their hands or in little bags, but from his observation of their conduct, he has concluded that the real purpose is quite different from what might have been intended.

According to Ethans, the notebook “comes in quite handy when one receives a bribe as the currency note is cleverly thrust between the pages”.

“I have also noted that they never write anything in those notebooks.”

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PRINCES OF THE CHURCH.  Declaring at the outset that it is not out of envy, X.N. Iraki wonders how come “preachers drive only the top-of-the-range cars while their flock walk”.

He poses: “Shouldn’t the pastors be driving the smallest cars in the market such as the Vitz? While missionaries built schools and hospitals, we are yet to see the current crop of preachers doing the same. I think I need to start a church as it seems more lucrative than any other enterprises, with no risks, except maybe road accidents.”

Have a humble day, won’t you!

E-mail: [email protected]
or write to Watchman,
POB 49010, Nairobi 00100.
Fax 2213946.